Today’s Lesson from the White House: Take Hostages

As we celebrate President Obama signing into law the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, I’d like to congratulate the activists who made it happen. This is the progressive high point of Obama’s presidency so far, and it came because of the hard work of a lot of people who relentlessly fought to win civil rights.

May this civil rights victory lead to full equality for gay men and women.

But I wanted to also note what this moment says about Obama’s system of governance: that the only thing he responds to is hostage-taking.

FDL has written a lot about Obama’s serial capitulation to those — whether the Republican caucus or people like Joe Lieberman and Max Baucus — who hold legislation hostage.

But this victory, the biggest progressive victory under Obama, is largely due to the fact that a number of men and women chained themselves — took themselves hostages, effectively — to the gates of the White House.

And while I doubt the optics of environmentalists or housing activists chaining themselves to the White House (with their consequent arrest) will be so toxic to the White House, the lesson does seem to be that the only thing Obama (who bills himself a pragmatist and loves to claim he listens to all sides) listens to is hostage-taking.

Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Reddit0Share on Facebook0Google+0Email to someone

135 Responses to Today’s Lesson from the White House: Take Hostages

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15
  • 16
  • 17
  • 18
  • 19
  • 20
  • 21
  • 22
  • 23
  • 24
  • 25
  • 26
  • 27
  • 28
  • 29
  • 30
  • 31
  • 32
  • 33
  • 34
  • 35
  • 36
  • 37
  • 38
  • 39
  • 40
  • 41
  • 42
  • 43
  • 44
  • 45
  • 46
  • 47
  • 48
  • 49
  • 50
  • 51
  • 52
  • 53
  • 54
  • 55
  • 56
  • 57
  • 58
  • 59
  • 60
  • 61
  • 62
  • 63
  • 64
  • 65
  • 66
  • 67
  • 68
  • 69
  • 70
  • 71
  • 72
  • 73
  • 74
  • 75
  • 76
  • 77
  • 78
  • 79
  • 80
  • 81
  • 82
  • 83
  • 84
  • 85
  • 86
  • 87
  • 88
  • 89
  • 90
  • 91
  • 92
  • 93
  • 94
  • 95
  • 96
  • 97
  • 98
  • 99
  • 100
  • 101
  • 102
  • 103
  • 104
  • 105
  • 106
  • 107
  • 108
  • 109
  • 110
  • 111
  • 112
  • 113
  • 114
  • 115
  • 116
  • 117
  • 118
  • 119
  • 120
  • 121
  • 122
  • 123
  • 124
  • 125
  • 126
  • 127
  • 128
  • 129
  • 130
  • 131
  • 132
  • 133
  • 134
  • 135
Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz RT @Pinetree_Girl: @bmaz @OKnox I think lawmakers adept at diversion from real issues. Public likes shiny objects. Has become inured to day…
1mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel If only Mitch McConnell hadn't decided to play chicken two weeks ago the Majority Leader might have Kept the Country Safe™
4mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @ColMorrisDavis And that presumably also permits FBI to use additional authorities against them.
8mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @ColMorrisDavis Once dissidents w/guns are "terrorists" they and friends can be pursued very differently and underlying speech criminalized.
8mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @ColMorrisDavis No. It doesn't create a new offense. It creates a new way to dub dissidents "terrorists," w/all that connotes.
9mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @ColMorrisDavis But my big worry is that this would (if passed) let govt use possession as reason to call dissidents terrorists.
14mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @ColMorrisDavis That's also in Burr's bill. He increases penalties on both 2339B (FTO) and 2339A (terrorist via 2332 and other laws).
14mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @WHarkavy: @bmaz Rest of world has such a bigger impact from FIFA issues, and here we are doing this. Like Iraq, cynical ploy. Global st…
21mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @ColMorrisDavis That's what my post says (3rd ¶). (Though that would mean the 2339 applies to it as well.) Seems horribly ripe for abuse.
23mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @ColMorrisDavis Bottom of page 65 here. https://t.co/L4BA0Xmi98 Section 204.
44mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @ColMorrisDavis It's in his PATRIOT ACt replacement bill. It's in the Material Support extension section.
46mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @WHarkavy ...and make a big splash for Lynch in the process. But there are some foundational questions too that really bug me.
51mreplyretweetfavorite
December 2010
S M T W T F S
« Nov   Jan »
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031