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.

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emptywheel RT @SkinnerPm: From @TheSoufanGroup piece this morning on offline #ISIS recruiting https://t.co/DPR0DCurgX https://t.co/vmMr2YcuqW
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emptywheel RT @just_security: A New UK-US Data Sharing Agreement: A Tremendous Opportunity, If Done Right | new from @jendaskal https://t.co/tAPe4xHNeh
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emptywheel @lpackard I don't pretend Miller is speaking up for principle. It's a way to win Gov for her @DanaHoule
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emptywheel @DanaHoule Miller has an incentive to make something happen. Upton might be made to. @lpackard
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emptywheel @DanaHoule Problem with that is GOP is playing for corrosion controls to start taking effect to avoid laying pipe.
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emptywheel @DanaHoule It may well help long term. But I don't see how it does short term.
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emptywheel @DanaHoule Just trying to figure out quickest most likely way to get Flint burying new pipe. Don't see how Hillary's visit helps short term
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emptywheel @DanaHoule No. I'm saying GOP might do something but are less likely bc now doing so would be a win for Dem POTUS candidate.
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emptywheel @DanaHoule Sure. & I think there's a chance Hillary visit will make it less likely Flint gets $$ to fix pipes in part bc it'd be Keynesian
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JimWhiteGNV Happy Year of the Monkeypuppybaby, everyone!
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emptywheel @DanaHoule Besides, this is not (just) Snyder's governing ideology. It is DeVos'. That's going to take more to give up.
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emptywheel @DanaHoule Acknowledging and funding are unrelated, IMO, and may be out of GOP's hands anyway.
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