Thursday, June 18, 2009

A lament

Andrew Sullivan says the way to get Democrats to start supporting gay rights is to stop supporting Democrats. Did I miss the part where he ever supported Democrats (aside from Obama)?

It seems like I've been reading this sort of thing a lot lately. I know where these folks are coming from. I thought electing Obama would change things, but in retrospect that it hasn't is unsurprising. Obama would often say that it wasn't about him, and it would have been nice had the movement he created stayed in place to pass his agenda. Instead, for whatever reason, Obama has given Congress broad latitude and the results have been less than encouraging. I guess he wants to maintain good relations with Congress, but good relations are only desirable inasmuch as they produce good results. With the death by a thousand cuts of Waxman-Markey, the defeat of cramdown protection, the ever-more-depressing outlook on healthcare reform, the Obama era seems to be looking less like the next iteration of F.D.R. and more like the next iteration of Tony Blair, without the war stuff. Calling him the next Clinton seems harsh at this point, but that is looking much more likely now than it was five months ago.

But on the issue of gay rights, specifically, the problem is all Congress and not Obama. Sullivan pays attention--Congress might listen to Obama, and then it does what it wants to do, which is usually the bidding of some big lobby or other. There is some hope from progressive Dems, but the Democratic Party hasn't yet been caputred by the progressive movement in the way that the Republican Party has been by the conservative movement. That's probably for the best, but it would be a good thing for Obama to eventually clean house and start recruiting actual leaders. The current ones just aren't worth a damn.

It's not too late, but it has been a little dispiriting. If Obama doesn't succeed, we'll have nobody to blame but ourselves.

The Man, The Myth, The Bio

East Bay, California, United States
Problem: I have lots of opinions on politics and culture that I need to vent. If I do not do this I will wind up muttering to myself, and that's only like one or two steps away from being a hobo. Solution: I write two blogs. A political blog that has some evident sympathies (pro-Obama, mostly liberal though I dissent on some issues, like guns and trade) and a culture blog that does, well, cultural essays in a more long-form manner. My particular thing is taking overrated things (movies, mostly, but other things too) down a peg and putting underrated things up a peg. I'm sort of the court of last resort, and I tend to focus on more obscure cultural phenomena.