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 Twitterverse
bmaz @ScottGreenfield @radleybalko Ray Krone will not be impressed.
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bmaz @AriMelber Very Nice!
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bmaz @ScottGreenfield Scott Was Like A Scratchy Bearded Rainbow
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bmaz THIS----> Presidential “pixie dust”: How a quiet new rule can wipe away your basic rights http://t.co/bqkvPZOks7 via A @emptywheel at @Salon
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bmaz @emptywheel @ashk4n Well, okay then. If I was an SAO, you know what I would be saying!
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bmaz @NateWessler @onekade @emptywheel I think this incredibly needed. That said note Jeralyn's comment that this not new http://t.co/nFPEqadXtb
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emptywheel @bmaz I don't think Jello Jay will do it bc Lame Duck, retirement, etc etc. @ashk4n
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bmaz @emptywheel @ashk4n Crikey, not even your usual quarter???
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bmaz @kdrum Naw, I agree with @paulwaldman1 it's number 3, both. Christie has long history from back when was USAtty for NJ.
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emptywheel @bmaz No wager. @ashk4n
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emptywheel @Krhawkins5 Also kind of curious in what role he saw them? Cleaning out Hoover's safe after he died? @froomkin
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bmaz @emptywheel @ashk4n Our usual wager then?
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