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MAY 11, 2012 10:24PM

Obama on Marriage Equality: Eight years behind Dick Cheney!

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When President Obama sent me an email asking for yet more money immediately after announcing his ‘evolution’ on ‘marriage equally’ (the money grubbers couldn’t wait a New York minute) all I wanted to know was, Why should I give him money for saying no more than Dick Cheney said eight years ago?

Yes, eight years ago the war-monger one-percenter Vice President Dick Cheney came out and said exactly what Obama said two days ago but no one made much of a brouhaha about his ‘evolution’. But “whisk, whisk, goodbye to all that. History is bunk.”

Obama evolved? Well, sort of. It was surely a mere coincidence he did it the day after I published my analysis here at Open Salon but it confirms my argument that Joseph Biden and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan were just sending up a weather balloons with the boss’s consent. This was all cunningly calculated.

obama Smoke and mirrorsSmoke and Mirrors

You gotta hand it to the Madison Avenue spin-doctors. They sure know how to manufacture consent. Of course it takes a pretty dumbed-down United States of Amnesia to get away with such smoke and mirrors. This was superbly scripted propaganda and, as usual, the media accommodates as the White House stenographers to peddle and parrot whatever vapid spin is spoon-fed to them.

 But please notice the ‘evolution’ is far from complete. It’s a mere token gesture. A shiny token no doubt but a token nonetheless. Authenticity? Fugetaboutit! In politics travesty is as good as it gets. Obama did not endorse marriage equality as a federal matter (which is the real legal issue). He never came out and said same-sex marriage is ‘fundamental’ right guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment of Constitution. In fact all he did was adopt the exact same position as Vice President Dick Cheney in 2004 when he too said he believed marriage equality was a 'states’ rights' matter (the ‘states’ rights’ claptrap is the classic segregationist argument btw).

evolvedCredit, Benjamin WheelockCredit: Benjamin Wheelock

Yes, technically it is ‘marriage equality’ when Barack Obama finally agrees with Dick Cheney eight years later that same-sex couples should be able to legally marry and that’s true even if both politicians have the balderdash to peddle the same ‘states’ rights’ segregationist claptrap. But, as a matter of law we just don’t get to vote on civil rights. That’s the very reason we even have a Bill of Rights. As the late Justice Robert H. Jackson wrote in his famous dissent back in 1943(!)

"The very purpose of a Bill of Rights was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials and to establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts. ... fundamental rights may not be submitted to vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections" [emphasis added]. (West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624 (1943) J. Jackson dissenting.)

No one but a troll with a thimble full of legal knowledge could argue this is not the law. That principal is (in a nutshell) precisely what and all the Prop H8 issue is all about! Isn’t it peculiar no one in the mainstream media (or even the LGBT press for that matter) has even tried to educate the public as to this legal axiom? As Lady Augusta Bracknell says in Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest

“I do not approve of anything that tampers with natural ignorance. Ignorance is like a delicate, exotic fruit. Touch it, and the bloom is gone. The whole theory of modern education is radically unsound. Fortunately in England, at any rate, education produces no effect whatsoever. If it did it would prove a serious threat to the upper classes, and probably lead to acts of violence in Grosvenor Square.”

Yes, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright was right when he fulminated that the powers that be know that, if they want to control the people and retain power, ‘You gotta keep the people ignorant ... you gotta keep the people ignorant!’ But, as Christopher Hitchens wrote, “The measure of an education is that you acquire some idea of the extent of your

ignorance.... [unfortunately] every classroom [has become] a hive of inactivity [and] every flag-draped school a factory for the mass-production of a little learning.”

Hitchens, whose children went to fine schools, actually began to ask their teachers “how it came to be that they could not tell Thomas Jefferson from Thomas the Tank Engine.” In that sentence he was deliberately unclear whether he meant that the children didn't know unless he told them, or that the teachers didn't know unless he told them.

We have become so dumbed-down that when Alan Bennett's wonderful play The Madness of George III was released as a motion picture, its title was given as The Madness of King George simply because Hollywood's publicists worried that audiences might think they had missed parts I and II. No kidding. Marriage equality is just one more full-dress cultural sham-fight over so-called ‘family values’ (which is a euphemism for bacilli of religious dogma) and it has far less to do with ‘traditional marriage’ than the fact that it’s a subterfuge to pull more stones from Jefferson’s proverbial ‘wall of separation’ to crush secular America.

Does any of this phoney ‘evolution’ mean that Obama, a Con. Law professor specializing in, of all things!, “equal protection’ jurisprudence, believes there is no Constitutional right to marry? I really don’t think so. Still,

If one of Obama's law students gave his answer on a right to marry hypothetical s/he'd deservedly flunk the exam and might better serve the interests of justice by selling shoes at Macy's. Unlike the revered Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, who used religious faith to fight against discrimination and exorcize it from the law, Obama's approach uses religion as an excuse to deny civil rights and legislate prejudice into law.

Again, let’s be honest: the so-called ‘same-sex’ or ‘gay-marriage’ (I despise both ignorant euphemisms) debate is no more about ‘traditional marriage’ then the ‘Monkey Trial’ was about monkeys. The legal principals are just too well-settled -- beginning with a case President Obama is intimately familiar with. The irony of his faith-based lie is that his own Christian denomination (the UCC) came out, unequivocally, for marriage equality nine years ago! But, psst, don’t ask and don’t tell – it’s a bit of secret. Hypocrisy! Hypocrisy! Hypocrisy! We all know the name of this sick and cynical game.

While it’s fair to infer this law professor knows marriage equality is no more a ‘states’ rights’ issue than is a Negro water fountain, a Jim Crow railroad car, or a segregated classroom, it’s preposterous to argue Obama has ‘evolved’ at all since flat-out marriage equality was his original platform (widely published in the Chicago gay press) when he ran for the Illinois Senate as far back as 1997. But, as whisk, whisk, goodbye to all that too. History is bunk. So it seems a pathetic that Obama still does the smarmy lawyer’s tap-dance and continues to cavalierly toss-over calculated Ketman.

It’s strange what a brouhaha this so-called ‘evolution’ has created and even stranger the United States of Amnesia suffers such short term memory loss to forget (duh) that a right wing one-percent Republican war monger was eight years ahead of Obama! Whisk, whisk, goodbye to all that too. History is bunk. This is why Americans are not taught history – or law. To paraphrase Aldous Huxley in Brave New World,

"You all remember," said the Controller, in his strong deep voice, "you all remember, I suppose, that beautiful and inspired saying of Our Ford's: "History is bunk. History," he repeated slowly, "is bunk."

 “He waved his hand; and it was as though, with an invisible feather whisk, he had brushed away a little dust, and the dust was Dick Cheney, Loving v. Virginia and Obama’s Illinois senate campaign just some spider-webs. Whisk. Whisk. Specks of antique dirt. All gone. Whisk ,whisk, whisk,…. "That's why you're taught no history," the Controller was saying.”

To paraphrase Christopher Hitchens in his marvelous essay,

‘the forbidding dystopia of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four seems already upon us while the hedonistic nihilism of Huxley still beckons toward a painless, amusement-sodden, and stress-free consensus of manufactured consent. For true blissed-out and vacant servitude you need an otherwise sophisticated society where no serious history is taught at all and We Duh Peeple are cynically preserved as legally ignorant.’

Still we must take our victories as we find them.

However it’s a bit pathetic that the LGBT Community and the Left regard as a victory today what a right wing war-monger vice president already said eight years ago. If this is a consequence of what the gay community calls ‘political activism’ then the transvestites and drag queens at Stonewell had bigger balls and this community of sold-out complacent careerist Babbitts has not seen real activism since Larry Kramer saved a million plus lives and Act Up ground traffic to a halt to shut down Wall Street and the HIH. Whisk, whisk, goodby to all that. History is bunk.

Compared to the stick-your-neck-out and put-your-ass-on-the-line legacy of the thousands of activists taken-out or burned-out the first and second waves of the AIDS pandemic this generation of gay Babbittry demonstrates there is nothing wrong with flaccid gay activism that a triple dose of Viagra wouldn’t cure. If this is an example of how the new generation carries the torch then it’s pretty good evidence gay activism has degenerated to little more than cutting a check to get an invite to political cocktail party where sycophants risk the horror of breaking a fingernail clawing for a place in line for a photo op., or scuffing a Gucci shoe at a beer bust jockstrap-basket-contest "AIDS fund-raiser" — which money, in case no one has noticed, is never publically accounted for – but don't ask because they won't tell.

Yes, we must take our victories as we find them but the irrefutable fact is that, for all the money this community has gushed into ‘marriage equality’ activism,’ the absolute best they get from a so-called hard Left Democrat, is exactly what a right wing war monger conceded almost a decade ago. And for this we can expect every marriage equality and gay rights public interest organization to flood our email boxes trumpeting “Just look what we did for you! Aren’t we wonderful! Now please send more money” because they need it for a manicure and a new pair of Gucci shoes (and toss in the newest Apple gewgaws) before the next cocktail party photo op.

Meanwhile, as they have dicked around with this state by statepatchwork’ that Larry Kramer has rightly ridiculed , the patchwork proves to be whole-cloth bigotry as the Gucci-shoed ‘activists’ manage to loose in virtually every state where civil rights are put to the vote. Count them! Failure after failure, after failure, after failure, after failure! ‘Hurray! Hurray! ‘Just look what we did for you! Aren't we wonderful! Click here and send more money now.’

Twenty-one years after Hawaii! Sixteen years after DOMA! (You all remember DOMA don’t you? Signed into law by the same triangulating ‘friend of gays’ and ‘sociopath’ (George Stephanopoulos’ word), the “rapist and a liar” (Christopher Hitchens’ choice phrase) the disbarred lawyer, who poked his crooked finger in our face and swore he “did not have sexual relations with that woman” or that one or that one etc. And then to appease the rabid fundamentalist Right he signed both DOMA and DADT into law? And the next we saw of him he was marching out of church with a Big Black Bible in his hand. His message to the LGBT community was ‘Bend over and let me drive.’ To again quote Reverend Wright, “He did to us like he did to Monica Lewinsky.” After which he struck a deal with the devil (those are his words and admission not mine) to subsidize Arkansas rice farmers to destroy Haiti’s agricultural base, evict the peasant farmers from their land and move them to the slums of Port-au-Prince as cheap labor that got no jobs but left them in abject destitution ripe to be crushed in the earthquake.) But I diverge. Two decades and counting but only Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, New York, New Hampshire, and the District of Columbia allow same-sex marriages? ‘Hurray! Hurray! ‘Just look what we did for you! Aren't we wonderful! Click here and send more mo-money now. Just keep showing us the money.’

In virtually every other state our ever-so-nice activist Babbittry have failed us miserably as they suck up our money by the multi-millions. Where was the multi-million dollar lavishly funded Equality California during Prop 8? Out in the hinterland talking to the people who might be persuaded? Hell no! They didn’t even make it to the mall! They were prancing about the Castro and knocking on doors in San Francisco preaching to the choir. A worker at Cliff’s Hardware asked, “What the Hell are they doing here?!” And after that miserable failure EQCA couldn’t even garner sufficient signatures to put a repeal back on the ballot. Pathetic. But hey, they could give a Hell of a social-climbing-careerist-cocktail party and march out plenty of always-running-for-office politicians for photo ops plus toss in a few raffle tickets to Disney Land.

Twenty one years and counting and all this for what? Gucci shoes, cocktails, and gay jim crow laws in more the half the states? America drips religious blood red. Hurray! Hurray! Just look what we did for you! Aren't we wonderful!"

This, of course, is what happens, and what history tells us to expect, when reason must confront religion and civil rights are put to the vote of confederacy of theocratic bigots. With few exceptions where have we only own? In court! With very few legislative exceptions the activists who have come through for us have been the lawyers and three cheers for them!!! But still even our legal activists have avoided the Supreme Court because they have been chicken-shit of a Bowers v. Hardwick that only took 17 years to overturn?! Many chicken-shit gay activist organizations were dead-set against Ted Olson and David Boies taking Prop. H8 to federal court until they woke up and realized they’d look pretty stupid if two straight men won in the Supreme Court while the sissies ran from the fight.

Twenty one years and counting. As Larry Kramer has asked (and I paraphrase), ‘What the hell are you afraid of? You loose and get your ass kicked? So what! You go back and fight again. This state by state thing is not working.’ In court is how we got from Bowers to Lawrence and it is the only way we can get to marriage equality in American. Otherwise the best you can hope for is a so-called hard Left Liberal parroting what a hard Right war monger peddled eight years ago. Hurray! Hurray! Just look what they have for you! History is bunk. Click your hells together and pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.

Dick Cheney was one thing but perhaps the most pitiable part is that we have an African-American so-called ‘civil rights lawyer’ for president who lacks the courage to state the rudiments of the ‘equal protection’ law he taught to his privileged one percent law students. Ask: Do you really want (can you really trust) a lawyer/advocate/law professor in your court who not only abjures ‘zealous advocacy' but totally fails to even speak up (!) and raise your most solid constitutional argument? Really? So he taught law to the rich and the privileged but shovels Ketman horseshit to We Duh Peeple to keep them ignorant. As his own preacher advised, ‘You gotta keep the people ignorant ... you gotta keep the people ignorant!’ Outfuckingrageous! Hurray! Hurray! Send us more money please.

Understand this for the buck stops with each and all of us, you just can’t suck at the feel-good propaganda tit and expect Democracy to gush out into your hungry mouth. Barack Obama can only get away with this because we roll-over and let him. Politics in America are polarized and trivialized. They are conducted like blood-sports played to the shouts of cheerleaders. The result is a deeply depressing political culture ill equipped for the perennial challenge of achieving social justice.

Can the hope for change be realized? Ronald Dworkin, one the world's leading legal and political philosophers, identifies and defends core principles of personal and political morality that all citizens can share. He shows that recognizing such shared principles (try equal protection of the law and “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion...”) can make substantial political argument possible and help replace contempt with mutual respect. To paraphrase Dworkin in his book, Is Democracy Possible Here?: Principles for a New Political Debate ,

‘The vicious spiral winds downward. If the political consultants tell the Obama to treat us as ignorant, we will remain ignorant, and so long as we are ignorant, the consultants will tell Obama to treat us that way. He can not afford to jump off that spiral ... Truth as a gold standard has become obsolete.

It’s time to tell Professor Obama we are diligent students, that we are teachable, that we have done our homework, and we not the ignorant dupes he presumes us to be. Nor are we the manipulable fools and propaganda pawns his spin-doctors take us to be. Nor will we swallow as his phoney and disingenuous scripted ‘evolution’ and ‘states’ rights rubbish cavalierly tossed-over eight years ago by a war monger who tried to cram the same poison down our throats. We demand that he stop the equivocating Ketman and stand up and be counted amongst the legal giants who have the courage to educate rather than exploit ignorance.

Otherwise you can bitch and kick and scream and troll all you want but will inherit the wind. Or you can just sit tight and suck-up the insults to your intelligence. And who knows, if you all wait long enough the religious bigots ossified by orthodoxy may just die out and rot be replaced by a new generation so we won’t even need an independent judiciary to uphold a Bill of Rights or the Fourteenth Amendment to ever protect any minority from majority tyranny. Hurray! Hurray! Hurray! Please send your donations today. History and law are bunk and you gotta keep the people ignorant.


Francois Arouet

Copyright © 2012

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Imagine getting an email from Obama saying that he had "evolved" on habeas corpus. That'll be the day.
Francois, this is a tour de force. Bravo man, truly!! I'll be making sure my network sees this.
Francois, you always make a formidable case and this post is no exception. But I think you've underestimated the symbolic import of Obama's declaration, regardless of the logical inconsistencies you see in it. As commendable as Cheney's support for the motion was, it budged the issue about as much as George Schultz's 1989 call for the legalization of marijuana. Obama's public support for same-sex marriage will further its adoption. Surely that's not something to lament.
What Abrawang said...only in capital letters.

You usually see things more clearly and logically than this, Francois.
"President Obama sent me an email asking for yet more money immediately after announcing his ‘evolution’ on ‘marriage equally’". While I certainly agree with you Francois, he couldn't have been writing us both at the same time, that's impossible. I'm sure my good friend BO informed me first, so there!
As a response to some comments here and the many emails I have received on this post by friends and colleagues who are not Open Salon members, I have published a follow up that's bit to lengthy to post here asa comment. See Part 2: Obama Eight years behind Cheney
Evolved? Really? Journalist are so lazy. Here is an update for the slogan-swallowers who don't have a clue how to vet the propaganda spoon-fed to them. Obama finally talked it over recently with his wife and kids? Please. People chomp at this tainted bait? Is there a journalist alive in American who can vet the propaganda spoon fed to them? Clearly not.

In a 1996 statement he said 'I FAVOR LEGALIZING SAME-SEX MARRIAGES'. In Chicago Outlines article reported Obama WAS A SUPPORTER OF SAME-SEX MARRIAGE. Obama's answer to the 1996 Outlines question was very clear: "I FAVOR LEGALIZING SAME-SEX MARRIAGES, AND WOULD FIGHT EFFORTS TO PROHIBIT SUCH MARRIAGES." There was no use of "civil unions," no compromise whatsoever.


To now say what he said 16 years ago is NOT evolution. It’s flopping back from where he flipped before.
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