Obama and the Constitutionality of DADT and Other LGBT Discrimination

After nearly two years of ignoring, scorning, demeaning and lecturing the progressive blogosphere that provided substantial and critical portions of the fuel propelling him into office, President Obama suddenly found time to sit down with five carefully chosen token representatives of the unwashed dirty hippy community five days before the coming mid-term election. An election increasingly looking quite catastrophic to his own Democratic party, and due in large part to his performance and policy selection in office. How thoughtful of Mr. Obama to finally have a dialect with his base now that he is desperate and less than a week out from the electoral tsunami.

Courtesy of Duncan Black (Atrios), one of the participants, here is a transcript of the festivities. You can draw your own conclusions as to how large of a dog and pony show this was, but I would like to focus on the portions of the meeting dealing with LGBT discrimination and the government’s relentless DADT policy.

Asked by Joe Sudbay of Americablog whether he actually had any real plan to accomplish passage of repeal legislation for DADT, Obama responded:

…And my hope is that will culminate in getting this thing overturned before the end of the year.

Now, as usual, I need 60 votes. So I think that, Joe, the folks that you need to be having a really good conversation with — and I had that conversation with them directly yesterday, but you may have more influence than I do — is making sure that all those Log Cabin Republicans who helped to finance this lawsuit and who feel about this issue so passionately are working the handful of Republicans that we need to get this thing done.


You’re financing a very successful, very effective legal strategy, and yet the only really thing you need to do is make sure that we get two to five Republican votes in the Senate.

And I said directly to the Log Cabin Republican who was here yesterday, I said, that can’t be that hard. Get me those votes.

Asked to describe his plan to pass critical legislation he has long promised one of his core constituencies, this is the pathetic drivel Barack Obama comes up with? The President of the United States and leader of the entire Democratic party pleads powerlessness to accomplish the goal, but demands the Log Cabin Republicans go forth and deliver him intransigent GOP Senators on a golden platter? Seriously, that is his plan? Perhaps Mr. Obama has mistaken the LCRs for the NRA or something, but if there is any entity with less sway over the entrenched and gilded GOP Senate leadership than Obama, it is the Log Cabin Republicans. Absurd and lame is too kind of a description for such tripe. I honestly don’t know what is worse, that this is Obama’s response or that he has the politically incompetence to state it on the record.

But there was more, oh yes there was more. Asked by Sudbay the straightforward yes or no question as to whether he considered DADT to be unconstitutional, the self proclaimed “Constitutional scholar” President came up with the following bucket of blarney:

And one of the things I’d like to ask you — and I think it’s a simple yes or no question too — is do you think that “don’t ask, don’t tell” is unconstitutional?

THE PRESIDENT: It’s not a simple yes or no question, because I’m not sitting on the Supreme Court. And I’ve got to be careful, as President of the United States, to make sure that when I’m making pronouncements about laws that Congress passed I don’t do so just off the top of my head.

I think that — but here’s what I can say. I think “don’t ask, don’t tell” is wrong. I think it doesn’t serve our national security, which is why I want it overturned. I think that the best way to overturn it is for Congress to act. In theory, we should be able to get 60 votes out of the Senate. The House has already passed it. And I’ve gotten the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to say that they think this policy needs to be overturned — something that’s unprecedented.

And so my hope and expectation is, is that we get this law passed. It is not just harmful to the brave men and women who are serving, and in some cases have been discharged unjustly, but it doesn’t serve our interests — and I speak as Commander-in-Chief on that issue.

Let me go to the larger issue, though, Joe, about disillusionment and disappointment. I guess my attitude is that we have been as vocal, as supportive of the LGBT community as any President in history. I’ve appointed more openly gay people to more positions in this government than any President in history. We have moved forward on a whole range of issues that were directly under my control, including, for example, hospital visitation.

On “don’t ask, don’t tell,” I have been as systematic and methodical in trying to move that agenda forward as I could be given my legal constraints, given that Congress had explicitly passed a law designed to tie my hands on the issue.

And so, I’ll be honest with you, I don’t think that the disillusionment is justified.

First off, let’s be clear, this is a patently duplicitous and cowardly answer. Whether it is on Equal Protection, Due Process, First Amendment or some combination of the three, you either do or do not consider DADT unconstitutional. It IS a yes or no answer. Irrespective of whether or not you feel there are collateral constraints on your ability to act on it, you should summon the minimal intellectual honesty to state your opinion. But, and I will return to this shortly, this is an answer that Barack Obama and his various spokesmodels, such as Robert Gibbs and Valerie Jarrett, never give; in fact they have consistently demonstrated they will go to any length and contort into any position to refuse to answer the question of whether they believe DADT is unconstitutional.

Secondly, let us put an end to the collateral constraints Obama bleats prevent him from taking a stand or actively impacting the court process on DADT. It is pure horse manure. There are multiple modalities through which President Obama could proceed to eliminate the pernicious DADT policy in the court litigation currently pending.

As Tony Mauro explains in the National Law Journal, directly contrary to Obama’s statements, there is no absolute duty to defend the Constitutionality of DADT in cases such as the Log Cabin Republicans v. USA and Gates decision entered by Judge Virginia Phillips in the Central District of California. Describing the refusal of the Clinton Administration, and its Solicitor General Drew Days III, to defend the constitutionality of a statute in Hornell Brewing Co. v. Brady, Mauro relates:

So much for the vaunted governmental “duty to defend” acts of Congress, which has been invoked often in recent weeks in connection with the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law barring gays from the military — a law that the Obama administration opposes but still is poised to defend. In cases much bigger than Crazy Horse — think Buckley v. Valeo and INS v. Chadha — SGs have been throwing provisions of federal laws under the bus for decades. And Senate records show that, 13 times in the past six years, during both the Bush and Obama administrations, the Justice Department has told Congress it is not defending an act of Congress.

So, the vaunted “duty to defend” Mr. Obama so blithely relies on is not nearly the impenetrable constraint he lets on. Yes, there is indeed a presumption the government will defend the statutes passed by Congress; but, directly contra to Mr. Obama, in limited and appropriate circumstances that has always given way to doing the right thing. You have to wonder is LGBT discrimination rises to the level of “being the right thing” to Obama.

Mauro’s National Law Journal article goes on to completely eviscerate the Obama White House’s stated rationale for being unable to assist in effecting cessation of the invidiously discriminatory DADT policy through the court challenges and legal system as opposed to mere standing by and saying Congress should change the law. You should read it for the full discussion of the various arguments, it is not long and well worth the time.

One of the points Mauro discusses is the position of Walter Dellinger, President Clinton’s Solicitor General, on the matter. Dellinger in a recent New York Times Op-Ed sagely noted:

However, Mr. Obama may have another option: while appealing the lower court’s decision, he could have the Justice Department tell the appellate court that the executive branch believes the law is unconstitutional.

In other words, the Justice Department would take the formal steps necessary to defend the law, but it would also make substantive arguments about why the law should be struck down. The Supreme Court could still vote to uphold the law, but the president’s position could significantly influence how the court rules.

Doing so wouldn’t unfairly strip the law of adequate defense: if the administration took a stand against the law, the appellate courts would very likely allow lawyers for Congress or outside groups to appear and argue on its behalf.

This approach is not unprecedented. In 1943, Congress passed a law prohibiting the payment of salaries to three particular government employees. Arguing that the law was unconstitutional, the employees sued and won in claims court. The solicitor general asked the Supreme Court to review the lower court’s decision, but he also told the justices that the administration agreed with the original ruling; the court ultimately struck down the law.

That case and others like it provided a precedent for President Bill Clinton in 1996 both to comply with a law requiring the military to discharge service members who had H.I.V., and at the same time inform the courts that he found it to be unconstitutional. Thanks in part to support from the military, Congress repealed the law before litigation ensued.

Exactly. I have argued this precise point in relation to the appeal on the Perry v. Schwarzenegger Prop 8 case; the state can give the nominal cover for the appeal and still strongly weigh in that it believes the proposition unconstitutional. Mr. Obama could, and should, appeal but advise the court of his opinion that DADT is unconstitutional.

Therein lies the rub for Barack Obama, there is no compelling evidence whatsoever that Obama actually believes that LGBT discrimination is unconstitutional. Maybe Mr. Obama and his closest advisors and spokespeople like Jarrett really do NOT believe there is a constitutional nexus for LGBT discrimination; maybe instead they ar aligned with the thoughts expressed by Huffington Post columnist Earl Ofari Hutchinson in a deplorable and divisive piece saying Obama and Jarrett owed no apologies because:

The one other stumbling block that the gay rights activists that pound Obama must come to grips with and that is that a majority of blacks still bristle at the notion that the fight to legalize gay marriage is in any way comparable to the fight for black rights.

As disappointing and unenlightened as it is, this is entirely consistent with Mr. Obama’s stated words and positions at his meeting with the liberal bloggers Wednesday afternoon:

I think it’s a fair question to ask. I think that — I am a strong supporter of civil unions. As you say, I have been to this point unwilling to sign on to same-sex marriage primarily because of my understandings of the traditional definitions of marriage.

But I also think you’re right that attitudes evolve, including mine. And I think that it is an issue that I wrestle with and think about because I have a whole host of friends who are in gay partnerships. I have staff members who are in committed, monogamous relationships, who are raising children, who are wonderful parents.

Obama clings to the sham of “civil unions” but still cannot bring himself to think in terms of equality. He is trying to “evolve” because he now sees “trendlines”. To Mr. Obama, equality for LGBT citizens is nothing more that a political trendline he is starting to pay ever more attention to; it, however, clearly appears to be something he does not consider to rise to Constitutional protection the way racial civil rights did for his heritage.

It is time to stop the two faced dithering Mr. President. There is a difference between mouthing some self serving cheap political rhetoric that “all people should be able to serve in the military” and recognizing that the reason they cannot is because of unconstitutional discrimination against a protected class of citizens. There is a HUGE difference.

When asked about the court rulings byJudge Virginia Phillips in the LCR DADT case, by Judge Tauro in the DOMA case, or by Judge Vaughn Walker in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, the response is always in terms of legislation repealing laws in place. legislation affirmatively protecting something in the future, studies to see what is appropriate or some other mealy mouthed hollow rhetoric. On the other hand, not a lick of that matters if the discrimination at issue is flat out unconstitutional. If it is unconstitutional, and it absolutely is (as held by nearly every Federal judge considering it), then studies are irrelevant. What generals and servicemembers wives think and respond to in answers to opinion surveys is irrelevant. Legislation by Congress is irrelevant. Public opinion, for that matter, is irrelevant. None of that matters because it is a fundamental right for such citizens to be treated equally and not be discriminated against. End of story. Seriously, it either is or it is not. Where do you stand Mr. President?

But Obama never talks about it in those terms does he? No, he does not. And all the other stuff he mouthes is nothing more than code for “I don’t believe this is a Constitutionally guaranteed right and it is nothing more than a political issue for me”. There simply is no other interpretation to Obama’s dithering, statements and position.

The Constitution and its fundamental equality, due process and first amendment protections is not a political issue football to be tossed around, nor is it properly enforced by degree of popularity in the latest Gallup poll trendline.

Bmaz is a rather large saguaro cactus in the Southwestern Sonoran desert. A lover of the Constitution, law, family, sports, food and spirits. As you might imagine, a bit prickly occasionally. Bmaz has attended all three state universities in Arizona, with both undergraduate and graduate degrees from Arizona State University, and with significant post-graduate work (in physics and organic chemistry, go figure) at both the University of Colorado in Boulder and the University of Arizona. Married, with both a lovely child and a giant Sasquatch dog. Bmaz has been a participant on the internet since the early 2000’s, including active participation in the precursor to Emptywheel, The Next Hurrah. Formally joined the Emptywheel blog as an original contributing member at its founding in 2007. Bmaz grew up around politics, education, sports and, most significantly, cars; notably around Formula One racing and Concours de Elegance automobile restoration and showing. Currently lives in the Cactus Patch with his lovely wife and beast of a dog, and practices both criminal and civil trial law.
  1. harpie says:

    The Most Powerful Man in the World,

    arguably the Most Powerfullest in a long line of Most Unitarily Powerful Men in the world





    anything about it.

    But engineer international and US law in order to “convict” and further incarcerate, without ever having to prove any of the newly minted charges, a POW Dangerous Jihadist who was 15 when captured?

    Hey, no problem!

  2. KC says:

    We need to change tactics to make DADT even more of a painful PR issue for the White House.

    There are different levels of judicial review of the constitutionality of a given statute. The easiest standard for a suspect statute to overcome is the “Mere Rationality Standard.” To pass the rationality standard for constitutionality a statute must 1) pursue a legitimate state objective (state as in gov’t, not as in 50 states) and 2) the means chosen to pursue this objective must be rationally related to the objective.

    Here’s where the PR attack comes in. Ask Obama/Ax/Gibbs/Whoever what the legitimate state objective of DADT is, then ask them how DADT is rationally related to achieving that objective.

    For example:
    Press Secretary Gibbs, is DADT a rational method to achieve increased unit cohesion in the military?
    President Obama, you’ve stated DADT harms unit moral/cohesion and damages military readiness, as a constitutional scholar, do you believe DADT rationally pursues a legitimate state interest?

    The answer will either directly lead to the conclusion that DADT fails the mere rationality standard (i.e. is unconstitutional and should not be defended in court), OR
    The answer will show a prominent WH official saying they think DADT is rational – a serious flip-flop and slam on the GLBT community.

    • bmaz says:

      Of what ourpose would that serve at this point? Courts have consistently held, whether in the Prop 8 case with Walker, the DADT with Phillips, the Witt case, DOMA with Mauro and even Lawrence in the Supremes that heightened scrutiny is appropriate and likely strict scrutiny. Secondly the rationalizations you seek to force them into making have been formally pled on the record several times now, with courts finding them non-persuasive at best and directly contrary to existing fact in most of them; see, for instance the Witt decision. All of this has already been conclusively done in detail, and the government’s position looked, and was treated as, laughable for the most part.

      • cregan says:

        I agree with this.

        I have made a few statement on this, sometimes misunderstood.

        Someone made a comment on Jarrett saying, “lifestyle choice.” They got all over it.

        To me, that misses the big point, as touched on in your post.

        Lifestyle or choice are not really issues.

        Freedom is being able to stand up and say, “This is the way I live my life and as a human being I have a right to it–whether I choose it, have genes that influence it or no reason at all.”

        That’s freedom. That’s the constitution.

        This is similar to freedom of religion. You are free to practice it whether you are born into it, choose to do it later in life, or don’t practice it at all.

        This discards many arguments of biology, etc., etc. blah, blah, blah, which have nothing to do with freedom.

  3. Mauimom says:

    bmaz, what are the blogs of the “selected few” saying about Obama after their tea-and-cookies get together?

    Are they even more slavishly pro- this loser? Any criticism, anywhere among them?

    BTW [slightly OT] can you believe the offensive “survey” taken of the military re their “reaction” to the end of DADT? Was this sort of crap pulled when Truman imposed racial integration?

    “Separate showers”? What’s next: separate drinking fountains and restrooms?

      • Mauimom says:

        That I know. I was just wondering if anyone had “surveyed” these outposts to see what the post-schmooze response was.

        I certainly don’t want to go there to find out, esp. Great Orange Satan. Perhaps there’s someone else within the FDL community who’s braver . . .

      • GulfCoastPirate says:

        Great write up for the non lawyers among us.

        I do have one question. When you get your invite you are going to ask him about killing the BCS aren’t you?

  4. Mauimom says:

    [Still no edit function available] – I grew up in the South [Houston] 1954-1962, and I still remember “colored” signs on water fountains, restrooms, doctors’ waiting rooms. And I’m supposing Houston was slightly less crazy than the “Deep South.”

  5. clearbrook says:

    Ok Guys,

    I don’t agree with the life choice. That being said, I also do not disagree with allowing someone in the LGBT community to *non-disruptively* serve in the military, and I see DADT *eventually* going away. However, I don’t agree with the outright appeal of DADT for pragmatic reasons. I think it is just asking for trouble, despite a lot of people thinking it is “no big deal” and would not be a problem.

    I’ll give you a road map that allows Obama to save face (obviously what he is doing, but not very well, right before the elections — watch for changes right after the elections but before the new Congress moves in) and gets the ball rolling the right direction without having to even change his weak “defend the laws of congress” position.

    Have him issue an executive order that:

    1) Specifies that the *driving* finding of DADT is found in Title 10, Subtitle A, Part II, Chapter 37, Section 654, subsection (a), Paragraph (6), which says:

    (6) Success in combat requires military units that are characterized by high morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion.

    2) In order to meet that need and retain the highest mode of readiness and greatest number of available personnel that can be kept, subsection (e) shall be given the greatest weight. It states:

    (e) Rule of Construction.— Nothing in subsection (b) shall be construed to require that a member of the armed forces be processed for separation from the armed forces when a determination is made in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Defense that—

    (1) the member engaged in conduct or made statements for the purpose of avoiding or terminating military service; and

    (2) separation of the member would not be in the best interest of the armed forces.

    3) While subsection (b) and (c) are *still* in force, their characterizations and interpretations are subordinate to subsection (e) and, that in *all* cases, paragraph (1) is considered to be the Prima Facie reason for the behavior that must otherwise be conclusively proven in Courts Martial to be False, and that if *retaining* anyone is better for high morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion, then the Courts Martial will do so, rather than discharging them.

    This be effectively the same as what U.S. District Judge Ronald Leighton ruled in the case of Air Force Major Margaret Witt, where he did *not* challenge the Law itself, but rather the way it was interpreted. Obama can *still* say (weakly) that he is defending the Laws of Congress. DADT, in *shadow* form, still exists to defend against disruptive activities. And gays, although they take risks, just like they do now in the civilian world, by coming out or being exposed, are not *automatically* kicked to the curb. In some cases, the Courts Martial may decide to kick someone out that should not, but with the Witt Precedent, it can be reviewed, and *if* the disruptive element in any such case is those who are *not* gay and they are discovered, *that* disruptive element could be made to suffer the discharge that *they* should get.

    My advice, don’t ask for the Moon, because you won’t get it. Ask for *this* and it moves things in the right direction and doesn’t get the reasonable people all up in arms — the radicals on either side will never be pleased, so don’t even try!


    • phred says:

      Fortunately for all of us, what you do or don’t agree with or find pragmatic is entirely beside the point. The Constitution guarantees equal protection (and rights) under the law, whether you like it or not.

      • clearbrook says:

        Phred, if you can’t see why *that* attitude is self destructive when you are asking for acceptance, I am afraid there is *not* much hope for you. Militancy and Belligerence has pushed as far as it will go. Good luck with your Constitutional Argument. From the letter of the Law:

        (a) Findings.— Congress makes the following findings:

        (1) Section 8 of article I of the Constitution of the United States commits exclusively to the Congress the powers to raise and support armies, provide and maintain a Navy, and make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces.

        (2) There is no constitutional right to serve in the armed forces.

        Do I say it is right? No I do not! Do I say that allowing *all* gays (including the Flamers and Activists who are *literally* going to get themselves or someone else — even someone completely innocent in this matter — killed) to serve is something I would support, and that a *pragmatic* reason is *not* are reason for the Supreme Court to make a ruling? I guess the answer is NO again! Don’t say pragmatism does not make a difference. Dred Scott is one you should have learned in High School. It was wrong, but pragmatic. The speculation is that the Ruling was purely intended to placate the south and avert a Civil War. Not that it worked out that way. More recent decisions are a little more esoteric, but Pragmatism is sometimes the reason to decide *for* the people and sometimes a reason to decide *against* them. I would not tie your hopes to such a crap-shoot if I were you. If the possibility that people will blame the SCOTUS for needless deaths is even remotely in their mind, even some of the more Liberal Justices will avoid that position.


        • bmaz says:

          This is just a pile of steaming crap to justify constitutionally discriminatory behavior. The same flaming pile of shit was shoveled in response to equality of military service for blacks. You are dispensing the last vestiges of dying bigotry.

        • Teddy Partridge says:

          The “Flamers and Activists” as you so insultingly call them are serving today, defending your freedom to type such brazen bigotry on a blog comment. Cherish them, for they are fighting for you NOW.

          • dakine01 says:

            Yep. They were serving with me when I was in the USAF 12/76 to 9/82 and the only problems they usually ever encountered were when they had a supervisor or commander who was a bigot of some type.

            Otherwise, they attended most of the office parties with their SO and no one said a thing untoward because they were good people and good troops (be they male or female)

            • clearbrook says:

              Margaret Witt was another in that case, and I think U.S. District Judge Ronald Leighton ruled well in her case. At this point, however, I would say that this is an exception, and so are your friends. I also expect they were careful around “bigoted” Commanders, and *not* “Flamers” or “Activists”.

              For me, when the rule was “keep it out of sight”, it was “keep it out of sight”, and that included stuff like porn in places overseas where it was considered a Capital Offence to have that stuff, but I am sure some guys might have had it. It gets a little rough around the edges, but if the command is lawful, you obey it, and if you are in command, you make damned sure your soldiers obey it, too.

              That they found a way to make it work is commendable. That you think everyone is as good at making it work as they did is trash. Clean up the trash and your argument has legs. But then again, that would ruin the arguement.


              • dakine01 says:

                I think you’re using the extremes to blast the entire group though. And the thing is, extremes of people from any group can have an effect on the unit cohesion and ability to perform the mission.

                You claim that the “flamers” and “activists” are the problems but the same can be said about GIs who are White Supremacists/Racists or are religious proselytizers.

                But then those would not be bad people from your perspective so you would not go about banning ALL Christians or ALL white people for the actions of the few.

                So why single out the lesbians and gays for banning due to the actions of a minority that apparently even you will concede is a small one?

          • timncguy says:

            as soon as Clearbrook used the term “flamers” everyone else here should have realized it was time to ignore him. Fer gawd’s sake he also went on to say that he doesn’t believe that LGBTs really deserve constitutional equality, but he is willing to let us have a bit of it as long as we don’t get uppity about it and cause to much of a scene…. just ignore him

          • clearbrook says:

            Flamers? I doubt that is the case. It is their nature to make problems. Change DADT and there are examples of them waiting in the wings to join and create chaos. They could not help but be disruptive, found out and kicked out. Hopefully, if DADT goes away, it will be replaced by strong language mandating the removal of all disruptive persons, gay or otherwise. *THAT* might work, and *would* be grounds for getting rid of skinheads, black panthers, gay flamers, and all sorts of others that *no* NCO or Commander should have to be mamby pamby with and not hurt their precious feelings when trying to keep a unit together and fighting!

            Activists who are wannabe Activists smart enough to not act out, I am certain they have and will serve well. They may not like the situation, but some gay soldiers are out there serving right now, and for those dedicated folks, I *am* grateful for serving with me. I wish you would stop denigrating *my* service however, because I understand the need for good order, being *responsible* for it from time to time in *my* 33 year career!


          • clearbrook says:

            I also don’t think you understand that I don’t think all, or even a large portion of gay people are “Flamers and Activists” but I *have* a great deal of experience in knowing just how much damage one bad apple of *any* sort, gay or otherwise can cause!

            If you misunderstood me to be saying *all* gays were eithe “Flamers” or “Activists”, I can see you taking issue with that. I take issue with that, albeit with many years to come around to that point of understanding.

            So please take that under consideration when retorting to comment 85. I don’t need to make you so mad you can’t see straight!


    • Peterr says:

      Yeah, it’s asking for the same kind of trouble that those meddling kids asked for in Topeka in the 50s.

      Asking whether something is constitutional or not is not about saving face for anyone, but about whether it is permissible under the highest law of the nation. The president swore an oath to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution, and if he can’t manage to state publicly and for the record whether DADT is or is not constitutional, he’s got a much larger problem than simply saving face.

      And so, for that matter, do the rest of us.

    • Mary says:

      IOW, you think it is ok for someone who is gay to have the right to die for your freedom as long as they keep their “gayness” secret, but damn it, you draw the line at having an openly gay person die for your freedom!

      @ 12 “Dred Scott is one you should have learned in High School. It was wrong, but pragmatic.” Exactly – I mean, if not for the Dred Scott decision, we might have had a civil war. Oh. Wait.

      • clearbrook says:

        “IOW, you think it is ok for someone who is gay to have the right to die for your freedom as long as they keep their “gayness” secret, but damn it, you draw the line at having an openly gay person die for your freedom!”

        In My Own Words? Really? I said that? Go back and read it again. I thought most of it was written at the 8th Grade level, but I must have been too obtuse in saying that I did NOT think it was right. Right near the beginning I said:

        …and I see DADT *eventually* going away.

        I thought that was pretty clear. I guess that must have been college level english (what it used to be, at least) and I somehow confused you. Sorry about that. It is hard sometimes to be clearly understood and not be condescending. But, you have to understand your audience, and unfortunately, this audience covers a very broad set of mental and linguistic skills. “The challenge may be beyond my feeble skills,” as Ben Franklin used to say. I guess I need more practice and should spend more time making comments…

        BTW, I think I put more at risk with 33 years of Military Service than you or your hypothetical typical gay soldier did. So your jab about them dying for *my* freedom is a little over the top!

        I mentioned Dred Scott not because what they did was stupid and will never be done again. It was because it was stupid. Period. If you think stupidity has left the Courts of America, wake up and smell it, whatever it is they are serving today. It *was* the SCOTUS and I seem to remember Obama railing about some obscure “Citizens United” case during his State of the Union address, seemingly implying *absolute* stupidity in the Court.

        That was not very kind, but he is entitled to his point of view I suppose.

        So is the Court.


        • Mary says:

          Psst – go find some of those 8th graders:

          In My Own Words? Really? I said that? Go back and read it again. I thought most of it was written at the 8th Grade level

          They can hold your hand, pat your fevered brow, and explain what “IOW” means. I know, when your ego is big enough, “other” is hard to distinguish from “my own” but they can help you. Really. If no 8th graders are availabe, most kindergartners have this one down pat too.

          BTW, is this where I say, “In My Own Words? Really?” to your rant that a “typical gay soldier” soldier hasn’t sacrificed anything for you? I don’t think we have to worry about a hypothetical one or not, though – let’s just settle for Alan G. Rogers. He’ll be reassured to find out that YOU sacrificed more than he did. That perspective pretty much sums up your input.

          Take a sip of warm milk and relax. That’s something Alan Rogers can’t do – you should relish your opportunities.

          If, btw, you go back and read your own comment on Dred Scott, your words were that you were including it bc it was pragmatic. “It was wrong, but pragmatic.” And I guess my response as to just how “pragmatic” it was might have been written on high school level of history. ;) But I have faith in you – you’ll figure it out if you spend some time with it.

          BTW – you should spend some time with the archives if you want to make comments on what “we” feel about Citizens United. I don’t speak for others, but for myself, I didn’t find (unfortunately) that the Sup Ct ruling was that far off the mark, given earlier decisions and I did comment after the SOTU that Obama’s dig at the Justices, while they were in a setting where they just had to sit and take it, was classless and beneath his office.

          • clearbrook says:

            Well, a Seventh Grader is trying to teach me that stuff. Really. I know IMHO. I know LOL. I know LMAO. I know ROFL. I know BTW. I think I use mostly the ones related to humor. I probably know others, but can’t remember them until I see them. I didn’t catch IOW correctly and should have looked it up.

            If God can bless Alan G. Rogers, I certainly hope he will. No. I have not sacrificed so much as that. Many others have, and I don’t mean to denigrate the service of those who have fallen or even deny those who are Gay and *honestly* want to serve from doing so. My pragmatic view is that this is not about black versus white, and even *that* led to lynchings in the Military after integration, I am sad to say. I do not agree with the lifestyle but do not feel compelled to to deny them the opportunity to serve, and maybe eventually even openly.

            I have not been as unlucky to have it happen where I was closely involved, but it has happened where I was stationed that some guy killed another guy for looking at his wife wrong when nothing else had happened. Sex and weapons. It makes me nervous. Now I was not there back when racial integration was first happening, so I can not say it is worse or not as bad as the anxiety that was caused back then. However, of the two causes, I think race trumps sexual orientation clearly. In my book, one has legitimacy to claim Constitutional Protection that the other does not!

            Your position differs. I think my thoughts and feelings have just as much legitimacy as anyone elses’ but the people screaming at me the loudest to accept *their* feelings are the ones that are giving *me* the emotional shaft! How am I *supposed* to feel? I guess they are hoping I can sympathize with their plight, and to a small degree that is working. However, the absolute venom and hatred makes it really hard for my sympathy to take root and last. They kill it almost before it is concieved within me! So to say that I don’t care would not be right, but to say that the pain of the constant attacks on *my* feelings has cauterized my abilty to express anything greatly postitive towards those who attack me might be exactly the way to characterize it.

            But do they *really* care about me? Honestly, I don’t get the impression they care about me at all, and that makes me question what they could give in service beyond their own selfish needs with that attitude? The quiet ones who play nicely (sorry, I don’t mean to imply that they must be happy with the situation) sometimes earn enough trust and respect to *slowly* come out with it and *not* have negative consequences. They are the ones I can relate to. They are the ones I would consider heroic. So what is wrong with playing nicely? I think it is actually expected of *me* despite the fact that I am *not* gay. Granted, I have some more lattitude. But if you think life is always fair, I’d like to live your life!


            • Peterr says:

              Get over your feelings. You’re entitled to them, but they are beside the point.

              You may believe that “one has legitimacy to claim Constitutional Protection that the other does not!” but the judge disagrees, and under the constitution we live under, her judgment trumps yours.

              We’re asking you to accept the ruling of a United States District Court, based on the evidence presented to her under oath and arguments put forward by attorneys for both sides, all considered under the guidance of the Constitution of the United States of America.

              That’s what you served in the military to protect, isn’t it?

              • clearbrook says:

                That one Judges


                may get Trumped. That call has not been made yet. I don’t think I have been supporting the Constitution for 33 years and don’t know when the call is final. Her actions have already been set aside pending further ruling.

                I have been accused along those lines on many occasions on many subjects. I am/was not an unthinking robot that just takes orders. My knee jerk reactions are just about gone, and even when I had them, I thought about them afterwards.


    • Clarknt67 says:

      I also do not disagree with allowing someone in the LGBT community to *non-disruptively* serve in the military

      Would you care to elaborate what exactly a “disruptive” homosexual might look like? What exactly are you imagining these homosexuals do in the course of their service that is so “disruptive” to the military?

      • clearbrook says:

        Most of them — nothing at all. Some, who have an axe to grind or a point to prove and are *not* committed to the military, but rather the concept that they find a higher commitment to, who knows?

        They are *not* the only ones to worry about. Even though large numbers of people *do* think it is not a big deal, some of them who say that openly, say something else privately. And among that group and others who are more open with their disapproval, there is great potential for problems that will lead to people dying that don’t need to.

        Confrontation will come from *both* sides, and weapons are involved all the time! I understand that the average person does not *think* about these things that are quite obvious to some of us with different experiences. In many ways, we *all* live sheltered lives and depend upon others to help us see how some things work themselves out.

        IMHO, Judge Virginia Philips should have said: “I sentence you to hang from the neck until you cheer up!” and it would have made more sense. Too many people think you can and should legislate human decency and do it to exactly *their* standards right now! The problem is that the standards are *not* universally accepted as correct, so demanding their way or the highway as an argument for acceptance seems hypocritical in the obvious sense, and simply changing something like this, which is highly emotionally charged, does not mean that people reacting emotionally, even if they rationally want to follow the law, are going to find it easy to comply. And some will not care or obey. Can I actually determine a person’s real commitment before they join? I don’t think so! You, can try, and even get close, but people, maybe even on both sides, will get in specifically to cause trouble.

        So just being openly gay in the wrong place at the wrong time could be dangerous and stupid. If anyone were to walk into a Gay bar and start telling gay bashing (instead of hetero bashing) jokes, 99.99% percent of the patrons would probably just ignore them, or grumble to themselves and move away. Chances are, if the jokester with a point to make does that again and again and again (and exclusively gay bars are *not* made illegal!) someone is going to take that fool out. What makes you think that everything you think should be considered acceptable will immediately be taken as acceptable by *everyone* (not 46% — not 50% — not 75% — not 99%) in the military and that nothing bad could possibly happen by just such a declaration? It makes no sense!


  6. bmaz says:

    It is either constitutional or it is not. Courts have consistently and appropriately found it unconstitutional. Witt did not reach the issue to some degree do to unusual pleading. To the degree it did reach constitutionality it clearly indicates there is a problem with that. You are citing a bunch of bases to continue in some form ,even if weaker, a policy that is inherently discriminatory in violation of the Constitution.

  7. clearbrook says:

    BTW, for the Record, the most Liberal Justices, by way of their rulings being less than “Constructively” interpreting the Constitution, are some of the most Pragmatically ruling Justices. Read their opinions with a clear head some time. And wonder again about rolling snake-eyes and having no-where else to go!


  8. cbl says:

    thank you for the clarity, bmaz

    now, about that “two to five Republican votes” tripe – and I remind everyone the Ditherer In Chief mentioned ‘financing’ twice

    We have seen this movie before

    “They didn’t deliver a single Republican,” an administration official told POLITICO just hours after Reid pulled the plug on the climate bill. “They spent like $100 million, and they weren’t able to get a single Republican convert on the bill.”

    I should probably refrain from stating what my response would have been to having to listen to this insulting upon insulting crap

  9. clearbrook says:

    If the choice is repeal or nothing, I vote nothing. I don’t care about your Righteous Holier Than Thou posturing and could care less about your Enlightened Visions! Sound familiar?

    I’ll talk moderation and let you paint yourselves as extremists. If you gain converts with *that* pile of poo, this country has worse things to worry about than just DADT. Once everyone figures *that* one out, there will never be any peace again, and it will *always* be “Us against Them” and frankly, you will be a big contributer to that problem, so don’t think about whining about it when it happens and 46% acceptance level is no longer good enough to get your way!


    • Peterr says:

      I’ll stand with Martin Luther King when it comes to your “moderation”:

      I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a “more convenient season.” Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.

      • clearbrook says:


        You have a point.

        But bmaz, with the needless vileness, does nothing to make me think that the situation is one that I even think *deserves* the same recognition as being black or white or indian (I am 7/32, thank you) or jewish even (which is *not* a race as I am saying it there) and frankly, I am inclined to posit that he (and others with his mindset of hate) is/are more closely relating the cause of LGBT acceptance to hypochondriacs and kleptomaniacs at best and cannibals, pyromaniacs, pedophiles and sociopathic serial killers at worst. The spectrum to “define” the legitimacy of homosexuality is *very* broad, just not to closed minded individuals on *both* ends of the spectrum. But the majority you want to woo lies in the middle, and I think they are getting a little sick of being called names by people obviously filled with all sorts of vile stuff that just comes flowing out unabated! The jury is still out, and although you may *think* that you have convinced everyone that LGBT is *just* like male or female, there are plenty, who do *not* think that is so, but are willing to let *you* think so and act so as long as you don’t start telling them that *their* orientation is wrong!

        Live and let live. Or die with everyone else!


        • Peterr says:

          Live and let live, as long as you’re not LGBT, you mean.

          Telling LGBTs to be nice and quiet while you good moderates ponder, consider, study, and debate is a mighty arrogant stance to take when you’re talking about someone’s liberty and freedom.

          I detest Fred Phelps’ vision of the Bible and his twisted application of it to our country, but I’ll stand with him when it comes to the constitutionality of his speech. He’s protested my church, and my parishioners served him lemonade on the sidewalk.

          The question of nature vs nurture when it comes to LGBTs is a red herring. If we can protect religious affiliation and activity — as great a matter of choice as one could imagine — surely we need not decide whether LGBTs are born that way or decide to be that way before granting constitutional protections.

          Either the constitution and its protections apply to everyone — even those with whom we might disagree most powerfully — or it is a piece of tissue paper.

          • clearbrook says:

            No. The arrogant stance is to say that they must adhere to *my* standards, forever — period. Or to put it another way: The arrogant stance is to say that I must adhere to *their* standards, forever — period.

            Funny how that sounds when you phrase it that way…

            Do you begin to see the glimmer of your hypocrisy showing through the cracks, there? I think others do!

            Again I say:

            Live and let live. Or die with everyone else!


            • Peterr says:

              If you’d like to discuss hypocrisy . . .

              At the beginning of this conversation you said, “. . . I don’t agree with the outright appeal of DADT for pragmatic reasons.”

              Did you really spend 33 years in the service supporting and defending the constitution, only to allow it to be set aside for “pragmatic reasons”?

              Did you really spend 33 years in the service supporting and defending the constitution, believing that it *doesn’t* apply to everyone? If that’s the arrogant stance, I’ll stand right there.

              When the constitution becomes something we adhere to only when it’s pragmatic or convenient, we’re in a world of hurt.

              • clearbrook says:

                Peter, the fact is quite simple.

                I DON’T equate LGBT “rights” with Sexual Rights, or Religious Rights, Racial Rights or even HUMAN Rights. But I am willing to allow it. I even think it is the decent thing to do, (in this society — not religiously) provided it does not become disruptive or in the worst case, lead to needless violence on those who are gay or any others. You probably find it funny that I should be in the military for so long, and been exposed to a *lot* of senseless violence and *still* take this stance.

                It is a paradox. Be the best you can as a soldier, so that no-one *wants* to fight you in a straight up fight. And if you *have* to fight, you can make it as fast and painless as possible. Will there be violence? Yes. Will there be senseless violence? Again, yes. Do we need to add to it? NO WAY!!!

                And from my perspective (NOT equating sexual orientation as any protected class that must Constitutionally be recognized and protected — it could, but does not *have* to be, classified as a behavior that could be acceptable to some and unacceptable to others) I am NOT opposing the Constitution. So my pragmatism, from my standpoint where *my* feelings are just as relevant as anyone elses’, does not cause a hypocritical break in *my* defense of the Constitution. It applies to *everyone* but does not apply to *everything* and the behavior is not the same as the person. Some people were exempt from military service because of their beliefs and others are unacceptable because of their behaviors. Take your pick. There is more discrimination in the military selection process than anywhere else I have experienced, except for a Women’s Only Health Spa that my wife worked at that I couldn’t join (just joking — I never tried!) and the Strip Club I wanted to work at (again — just joking) — Waitaminute! Its *everywhere* around us!


            • OldFatGuy says:

              What a load of complete, unfettered, duplicious, total fucking bullshit.


              I thought I’d heard it all until reading the tripe in this thread.

              So far gone from reality it’s bizzaro world version 1.0.

        • bmaz says:

          My bad, did not mean to be vile, and I was; I retract all vileness. However, I revise and extend my comment to read “This is consummate gibberish”. And, may it please the court, that is not meant personally, simply as a comment on the nature and quality of the evidence and argument.

          • clearbrook says:

            Fair enough. I am prone to emotion as well. I think that is what drives us and makes us “Human” instead of thinking machines. Still, I like logic better, and that feeling just does not compute!


    • PJEvans says:

      ‘Moderation’ means ‘kick the can down the road, so I don’t have to feel uncomfortable about being around people who are Not Like Me ‘.

      It’s the same attitude that kept segregation around, not by supporting it, but by not opposing it. It’s the same reason why the only people who are automatically first-class citizens are white males.

      And it’s still WRONG.

  10. Mary says:

    there is no compelling evidence whatsoever that Obama actually believes that LGBT discrimination is unconstitutional

    I partly believe that, but it competes with a part of my gut that believes he does know it is unconstitutional, but sees political advantage in treating this as though it is a legislative issue as a part of fearmongering for GOTV for “his” side. That’s my real gut level response – that Obama is just playing with the this issue so that gays will feel that their only option is to vote for Democrats. It won’t ever be “convenient” to give the gay community their rights as long as dangling the bait is needed to make them bite on the Dem hook. fwiw

    @23 – great quote.

  11. clearbrook says:

    BTW, there is a good Monty Python sketch that applies here:

    It is called: Happy Valley.

    Read it. Watch it. Listen to it. Laugh until your sides hurt.

    And remember how important it is to make Laws about how anyone (Gay or Straight or Whatever) should feel or think. Yes, in a way DADT may *seem* to do that, but it does *not* convey that being Gay is absolutely unacceptable, only that in the current environment, it may be disruptive. You will argue that is similar to what blacks went through, and argue that nurture versus nature makes no difference. It is not for YOU to legislate how others FEEL about that difference or non-difference, even if you *personally* consider it a red herring. In this debate over “hurt feelings” caused by repressive DADT, I should think that *everyone’s* feelings are just as important as the Militant LGBT Community.

    Hypocrisy. The more self righteous on both sides seem to have that in overflowing barrels. They can point it out in everyone else, but that Log in there own eye… All I can say is *that* has got to hurt. It hurts me just looking at it!

    I don’t get the feeling I am preaching to the choir. I think I am speaking to a brick wall.

    Oh well. Speaking (or trying to, and sometimes failing) what I *think* is true is sometimes a burden. I don’t know how many times I have suffered rejection for it, but that of course is not as worthy a cause as being LGBT, or at least that is what Hollywood tells me…

    So why do I do it?

    Tell me Peter, since you talk about your “parishioners” and seem like a learned man — does *that* seem like a cross that I might be called to bear? Since you talked about the “Fred Phelps’ vision of the Bible” and I am not sure what that means except that maybe it means that his understanding rejects gayness as an ok thing that your understanding allows it. I don’t think that is what we want to discuss, nor is it relevant from either of our standpoints if I understand you right.

    “If you are the Stronger, bear with your brother whose faith is weak.” That paraphrase is something that can be applied to both your standpoint and mine and probably Fred Phelps as well. I am trying to apply that as best I can here. Just saying this openly probably puts me up for more ridicule than an openly gay person has to suffer on an average day in America, but trying to reach out to you I count as worth the cost, and I think you, of all people, understand the concept of what I am doing and why. But I may be wrong in that, too.

    Sorry for the rest of you who don’t give a rats back end about my faith. I care about your lack if that is the case, but accept that there is little I can do about it except one on one and face to face. Unless you ask, I don’t plan on thumping my bible on you. Peter sort of asked for it. Again I am sorry.

    Seriously, though. Mothy Python. Happy Valley. Worth it!


    • Peterr says:

      I’m a pastor, and folks around here are not averse to religious discussions, or people with religious motivations for their actions. It’s a pretty mixed bunch, religiously speaking.

      On the other hand, in my experience, people here are quite happy to “live and let live” as long as that applies to everyone. Thus, the appeal that bmaz makes to the question of constitutionality is central.

      Again, I’ll ask you: did you serve in the military for 33 years and believe that the constitution you pledged to support and defend is something to set aside for pragmatic reasons?

      You are free to reject LGBTs, and free to view LGBT behavior as wrong or sinful. I am free to believe otherwise. But according to the courts, neither of us is free, constitutionally speaking, to enact and enforce policies that would treat them differently than others who seek to serve in the military, solely because of their sexual orientation.

      The court found that no evidence supported the claim that DADT was necessary for reasons of military discipline, or any other reason that the DOJ/DOD advanced. Indeed, the judge found that based on the evidence put forth, DADT was detrimental to the military. Add that to the discriminatory behavior that is at the heart of DADT (“Your kind need not apply”), and she struck it down.

      It was opposed to the constitution, and no valid reason (like “national security”) was put forward that might trump the otherwise unconstitutional governmental behavior.

      • clearbrook says:

        Peter, Thanks. So is my father who is a Methodist Minister who has done the Eucharist in the Catholic Church while presiding over a wedding (jointly with one of their Priests) so I have some background in pressing acceptance a looong way. Still, I have limits, that at least for now, my understanding does not let me get past.

        When the SCOTUS comes down and says that DADT is to be considererd Unconstitutional, at that point Even I will instruct those that I know and ask me for advice to consider *that* a Lawful Order and to obey it as best they can. I believe there is a Law Above that Constitution, and I pray that I never have to choose between them. I have been fortunate so far. U.S. District Judge Ronald Leighton has given the wisest ruling in this matter that I can see. The fact that you can come up with *some* rulings that support your position overlooks the fact that there is a difference of oppinion even at the Appelate Court Level. If you just add up the ones against repealing DADT (which don’t get much press) numerically against the Hollywood Cases that get the press, the outlook is grim. Going with the Leighton manuever addresses the fundemental disconnect in the law itself, and I think you and I agree on this. It is *possible* for a person who is openly gay to serve in the military, and rather than be a disruption can positively enhance morale. With more examples of that, you and I (albeit for different reasons) can hope to move to a post DADT day. That is *exactly* what I am trying to accomplish in my suggestion in post number 9. For me, I would just be happy to hear you consider it and consider praying about it. I’d be disappointed later when you still rejected that approach if that were to happen, but at *that* point, it would be fair for you to chalk that up to my ego and nothing else. And maybe you would be given the way to explain to me *your* revelation so that I can understand it. I’ve had others try to explain to me why (in the context of my faith only — not outside) gay is ok. None of them have quite made the point something I could find within my ability to accept. If my understanding is dim, then it is dim. Should I be belittled for having the knowlege of a child comparatively, if that is the case? But I digress.

        I said earlier “The spectrum to “define” the legitimacy of homosexuality is *very* broad…” and that is *exactly* the way I see it. In the Constitutional Sense, because of the disparity on the Appelate Court Level, this *must* be solved at the SCOTUS level. If Obama thinks that would go badly, he could be just trying to stall for damage control politically. Not very noble, but understandable, given *his* position and *his* orientation. I would surmise he puts the Party before the People. If he suspects the final resolution will be against repealing of DADT and even if it embraces Judge Leighton’s way of interpreting it, there is a potential for a *lot* of LGBT people to ignore the advice and be out there with their butts in the breeze. That would not go well for some of those individuals, I would suspect, and would not sit well with the LGBT community either. That in turn, would not be good for Obama or the Democrats. So his political double talk is to avoid honestly saying he knows or at least suspects that it is “damned if I do, and damned if I don’t” since the openess he made as a campaign promise has never materialized anywhere else.

        You seem stuck on one case (maybe more than one — I really don’t know for sure) where “The court found that no evidence supported the claim that DADT was necessary for reasons of military discipline…” and assume that is enough of an argument to carry the day. If it was, the Appelate Court very likely would *not* have acted as it did. It was surprising coming out of the 9th District, but in its suprise nature, you have to understand how compelling a merit they gave the argument that just doing away with DADT *might* be disruptive. THAT was a pragmatic call, pure and simple!

        You say DADT is Proven to be Unconstitutional. I do not agree. I agree that it *could* be ruled unconstitutional, and will even grant that *some* federal judges say that while others do not. The SCOTUS will decide. Not you. Not I. Not some other Federal Judge. That it *could* be ruled unconstitional I think we both see. Can you see that it could stand the Contitutional Test in SCOTUS? Would you accept such a ruling on a *legal* but not moral basis? Are you that flexible?



    • OldFatGuy says:

      Hypocrisy. The more self righteous on both sides seem to have that in overflowing barrels. They can point it out in everyone else, but that Log in there own eye… All I can say is *that* has got to hurt. It hurts me just looking at it!

      Walk past a mirror didja?

  12. b2020 says:

    The Clinton/HIV reference alone was worth reading this post.

    On a related note, I don’t want to get all Floyd on everybody’s glut, but niceties aside, Obama is a torturer, aiding and abetting torture, an accessory after the fact by leading a torture cover-up (by directions to the DOJ in violation of the constitution, no less), and his preposterous kangaroo courts trying a child soldier for 2002 “war crimes” under a bogus law passed in 2006 and re-passed in 2009 might well be in itself a war crime of sorts. That doesn’t even begin to discuss armchair assassination by executive order, delegating to his DOJ sycophants and death squads in JSOC and CIA contractors the writing of the kill lists and the recreational executions that follow, all under the shroud of state secrets.

    Hence I fully agree with Greenwald, bmaz et.al about just how dishonest and disgusting the Obama WH conduct at large, and his personal conduct specifically have been and continue to be, but honestly, unconstitutional inequality for gay and lesbian citizens (or government-funded foreclosure fraud, or even Fed/Treasury collusion to channel trillions of toxic debt into the GSEs at taxpayer expense w/o legal or congressional cover) isn’t exactly in the same league as illegal war, illegal occupation, torture, and – pace Horton – tyranny. Frankly, the criticism of Obama’s bloggedy questioners elsewhere is just as parochial as the questions were. Stewart wasn’t any better, according to the transcripts (I can’t sit through the videos). I guess there are reasons why Greenwald, Horton et.al. won’t get a chance to ask questions in the WH anytime soon.

    • shenebraskan says:

      Excellent comments, and I completely agree with you, right down to not being able to watch or listen to Obama, video or live.

  13. Kelly Canfield says:

    The “consummate gibberish” above is reflective of attitudes I run into at least once a week, and every week.

    And as in #38, it always turns into that they’re the victim who has their rights protected, while I do not.

    It ceaselessly fascinates me.

    • PJEvans says:

      I saw (on the captive audience screen in the elevator, leaving work) that a majority of the current military, responding to the DoD survey, says that it has no problem with GLBT members and that unit cohesion isn’t going to be a problem.

      I’m wondering how they’re going to spin that result to make it support DADT.

    • clearbrook says:

      Nope. A smilie that was blowing razzberries is where it came from, but it is more my signature than an emoticon per se. The .gif file had the tongue hanging out and wagging a bit. I think the code that it required was actually :`P~, but I later modified it on a game forum where I used to “razz” my opponents, and eventually it evolved into a signature of a sorts, whether I was razzing them or not. The variant :'{) *is* intended to be emoticon by variation from the norm. Certainly having an odd norm and varying from it is not frowned upon around here? Think of it as being like a physical disfigurement and I am sure you can get around it…

      I am at work on a Sunday, unfortunately. I can’t find this thread at home, and will likely not have the ability even if I write it down to actually get back to you guys. If I can, I’ll read farther and try and respond, but I hope you understand I have to get home…


  14. Teddy Partridge says:

    Obama is a homophobe. And he is acting on his homophobia in his official capacity. That makes him an adversary of LGBT Americans, not an ally. This is not hard to understand: you are with us or against us. Obama is against us.

    Like Tony Perkins. Like Rush Limbaugh. Like Peter LaBarbera.

    Obama is against us. He cannot recognize our full rights under the constitution. This makes him in opposition to us.

    It’s not a hard call.

  15. Clarknt67 says:

    Dear President,

    You can’t offer an opinion on DADT’s Constitutionality because you’re not a Supreme Court Justice.

    Are you aware PICKING Supreme Court Justices is part of your job responsibilities? If you can’t wrap your mind around the Constitutionality of a policy, why should we trust you to PICK Justices?

      • OldFatGuy says:

        Did his administration make public statement about the constitutionality of the health insurance mandate? I could’ve sworn they did.

          • OldFatGuy says:

            So far I’ve found this. Don’t know if this is on point. But it appears Gibbs publicly stated that it’s counsel had opined it’s constitutional. Why would they be willing to publicly release their views on the Constitutionality of the mandate, when everyone knew it was going to be a court case, and the DADT law?

            White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs reported that its counsel opined that the individual mandate requiring all to purchase health insurance is constitutional under the commerce clause. True or wishful thinking?

            • OldFatGuy says:


              I’ve linked to…….

              ANDREW BREITBART!!!!

              OMFG!!! Just shoot me now.


              • bmaz says:

                Yikes! We will forgive this one indiscretion in the spirit of the effort. Appreciate the links on this, though. Anybody who can find them, list them here and I will put in a quick post on this a little later.

                • Kelly Canfield says:

                  Obama’s 2nd signing statement [pdf] regarding the Omnibus Appropriations act in March 2009 states this:

                  As I announced this past Monday, it is a legitimate constitutional function, and one that promotes the value of transparency, to indicate when a bill that is presented for Presidential signature includes provisions that are subject to well-founded constitutional objections. The Department of Justice has advised that a small number of provisions of the bill raise constitutional concerns.

                  Emphasis added for irony.

                  This WH doesn’t mind deciding or acting on “Constitutional concerns” when it wants to.

  16. rosalind says:

    from the main justice blog in august:

    Justice Department spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler said in a statement to Main Justice that…”We believe there is clear and well-established legal precedent that Congress acted within its constitutional authority in passing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. We are confident that the health care reform statute is constitutional and that we will ultimately prevail,” Schmaler said.

    “This is nothing new,” wrote Stephanie Cutter, reacting to the judge’s ruling on the White House blog. “We saw this with the Social Security Act, the Civil Rights Act, and the Voting Rights Act – constitutional challenges were brought to all three of these monumental pieces of legislation, and all of those challenges failed. So too will the challenge to health reform.”

  17. rosalind says:

    via Daily Mail in March:

    The Justice Department, which is responsible for defending U.S. law in court, pledged to vigorously fight any challenges to the new healthcare law. ‘We are confident that this statute is constitutional and we will prevail,’ said Justice spokesman Charles Miller.

    The White House agreed the suits would fail. ‘There have been hearings about the constitutionality of the law, and I think there’s pretty much widespread agreement that it is constitutional,’ Nancy-Ann DeParle, director of the White House Office of Health Reform, said.

    (emphasis mine)

  18. msmolly says:

    Interesting. Clearbrook seems to have disappeared following the inquiry about his/her emoticons — the one definitely looks like spitting (or tongue out) which is what he/she was doing to bmaz and a couple of other commenters.

  19. arcadesproject says:

    this president wants the cred and the props of someone who fights for what’s right even though he just talks weasle shit and never lays a glove on anyone except hippies. you can actually feel the bitterness of his anger and disappointment but you can’t figure out what makes him think he’s entitled.

    • OhioGringo says:

      I can figure out what makes Obama think he’s entitled: he’s nouveau riche, newly rich. A lot of people who join the upper crust in terms of income and social status, and what’s higher social status than the presidency?, feel like they deserve what they got and that they are entitled to it and who are these other people whining that THEY still don’t have enough? As far as Obama is concerned, why can’t those ungrateful LGBT folks see that he SAID he supported them, how dare they insist he actually DO something about supporting them when he has so much else on his plate?

      It is similar to how LBJ felt about MLK when the latter said the promises of the Great Society were dying on the fields of Vietnam. LBJ had passed the Civil Rights Acts, hadn’t he? And here were black folks still complaining. Ingrates!

      I think similar perceptions are at work here. But Obama has even less ground to stand on with the LGBTs than LBJ did with minorities; at least LBJ HAD done something substantive. Obama has done nothing except to make and ignore promises. Maybe he really didn’t believe in those promises after all.

    • mattcarmody says:

      Really? You can’t figure out what makes him feel entitled?
      He was groomed by someone at Columbia, went off to law school at the home of feelings of entitlement, and came onto the national stage already anointed.
      All he had to do was continue to breathe and he was gonna be president. That’s what they told him and that’s what happened.
      Simple enough.

  20. mattcarmody says:

    Obama is doing a couple of things. He’s hiding behind Robert Gates expecting Gates to cover his ass with the military. But Gates has already proven himself to be a run-of-the-mill toady who tells those in power what they want to hear. As an expert on the Soviet Union in the CIA, he repeatedly to Casey and, by extension, Reagan, what they wanted to hear, that the Soviets still presented a threat as late as 1983 when the Soviet system was on life support. That’s why Gates still holds his position – he’s a yes man.

    The other thing Obama is doing is running out the clock on his term, hoping that the court grant cert to a case before he has to do anything about it and can defer to pending litigation without having to commit.

    Strange thing though. The Roberts court, those 9 “umpires”, well, at least 5 of them, sure have no problem killing off established laws when the laws don’t suit their agenda. The GOP never has a problem throwing something out, no matter how well-established, if it doesn’t fit their agenda.

  21. Clarknt67 says:

    BTW, thank you for this lovely adjective:

    the government’s relentless DADT policy.

    It really has been declared “dead” more than Jason Voorhees.

    Yet, the discharges continue…