Skip to main content

President Obama, please watch and learn.

Howard Dean was at his firebrand best on the Rachel Maddow Show last night. In unvarnished language he condemned the DoJ brief on DOMA calling it a "big mistake" and a problem Obama will have "dig himself out of."


The money quote:

"But this is a huge mistake.  You cannot talk about gay Americans the way gay Americans were talked about in this brief."

I encourage every to watch a true, "fierce adovcate" at work. Howard Dean you rock!

Transcript in full after the fold:

MADDOW:  Are you ready for the latest talking points against same-sex marriage in the United States?  Here we go.  Are you ready?

Consensual same-sex marriage between two adults is comparable to - marriage of uncle to niece.  Underage marriage.  And the government needs to preserve the traditional form of marriage which is an age-old societal institution.

These are the words of Pat Roberts - actually, no.  These would be the words of the Obama administration, the words of the Department of Justice under our self-described "fierce advocate-in-chief."

Late last Thursday, the Obama Justice Department filed a brief in federal court defending quite vigorously the defense of Marriage Act, the Clinton-era law that prevents same-sex couples who were married legally in their home state from having those marriages recognized in other states or from securing social security spousal benefits, filing taxes or getting any other federal benefit that married couples get.

This is from the same president who supported repealing the defense of Marriage Act when he took office.  Instead, he‘s not only defending it, he‘s defending using the same arguments as the Bush administration, contending that the act is not discrimination, that it is constitutional, all the while using arguments that equate same-sex marriage with pedophilia and incest.

Joining us now is former DNC chairman and governor of Vermont, Howard Dean.  Under his leadership, Vermont became the first state to legalize civil unions back in 2000.  Gov. Dean, it‘s nice to have you with us here today.  Thanks for joining us.  

FMR. HOWARD DEAN (D-VT), FORMER CHAIRMAN, DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE:

Thanks for having me on, Rachel.  

MADDOW: Common wisdom in Washington is that the Obama administration isn‘t really anti-gay, that they‘re actually going to do a ton of stuff for gay rights.  They‘re just going to do it later.  Do you believe that?

DEAN:
I believe it.  But I think this was a big mistake.  The language in this is - first, of all the president‘s position is marriage is between a man and woman.  OK.  Let‘s just accept that for the time being.  That said, DOMA is unconstitutional because it‘s a violation of the reciprocal contracts clause or whatever the lawyers call it, but the notion that contracts of one state have to be recognized in another.

DOMA, of all the things that were done in sort of an anti-gay period, electioneering period engineered by Carl Rove and Newt Gingrich and people like that - DOMA was probably the most offensive.  And these - I think most people believe it never should have been signed.

And the language in this brief is really offensive and it really is a terrible mistake.  I doubt very much the president knew this was coming.  I don‘t think for a minute this represents the president‘s position.  But he is now going to have to dig himself out of this because people are really upset about this, not just in the gay and lesbian community, but in the community of people who are interested in equal rights.

MADDOW:  Within the same week, we saw not only this brief defending the Defense of Marriage Act, we had another brief which avoided some of the more offensive language of the DOMA brief on "Don‘t Ask, Don‘t Tell."

And again, it was - for that brief, it was also argued that maybe the president doesn‘t know exactly what‘s happening with these briefs.  It does seem clear at least that the administration is not going out of its way to keep gay people from getting out of them and people who support gay rights just getting out of them.

DEAN: Look, I was asked about this whole business by another reporter about two or three weeks ago.  And I defend the president‘s choice not to move the "Don‘t Ask, Don‘t Tell" problem to the front of the agenda.  We‘ve got a huge health care battle going on.  We‘re in the middle of a huge economic problem that we haven‘t seen - the likes of which we haven‘t seen since the Depression.

And I understand that and I defend the administration.  But this is a huge mistake.  You cannot talk about gay Americans the way gay Americans were talked about in this brief.  And I think they are going to have to do something about this.

And what most likely I would predict is that they are going to have to move up their switching positions on "Don‘t Ask, Don‘t Tell."  I think the American people will accept that and the polls show that.  The military has accepted it.

Gen. John Shalikashvili, who is the joint-chief-of-staff, has now - the chairman of joint-chiefs has now said that he thinks that "Don‘t Ask, Don‘t Tell" should be abolished.  So I think - but I think now because of the language of this and furor it has rightly caused in the gay and lesbian community, that something is going to have to be done.

MADDOW:
 Do you feel there has been tension between the organized gay rights movement and the Democratic Party around these sorts of issues, that sort of debate that you just described about whether or not, sort of, at what point patients should expire?  At what point it should be OK that something isn‘t at the top of the agenda, but is maybe - at least we are content that it‘s on the agenda.

(CROSS TALK)

DEAN: I‘m sure there is tension, and the tension is to be expected.  The same kind of tension happened during the civil rights with African-Americans.  Martin Luther King pushing, if not now, when?  And Lyndon Johnson saying the time is not right and it got done.

It doesn‘t get done unless the community pushes harder than the community at-large is willing to go, and that‘s the job of the leadership.  And so that‘s always the dynamic when people are struggling for rights, for equal rights under the law.  So sure, there is tension.  I don‘t think that tension is bad.

But I do think it‘s bad that this kind of language is used in a Justice Department brief, presumably without the president‘s knowledge.  That is really - you just can‘t do that.  You can‘t - it is true that the attorney general has the obligation to defend the law of the land, whether the law of the land they agree with or not.

But there are some times when the law of the land is so noxious - this is not a bill to legalize same-sex marriage.  That is not what this does.  If DOMA gets repealed, it does not legalize same-sex marriage in some places like Alabama and Texas which may not want to have same-sex marriage.  But it does recognize the constitutional reciprocity of contracts from one state to another, and that is a basic constitutional right.

MADDOW:  But doesn‘t it push the Democratic Party to a certain extent to have Dick Cheney to the left of the Democratic president on this issue, to have Steve Schmidt, John McCain‘s campaign manager, significantly to the left of this.

We even had John McCain come out in an interview last week with Ana Marie Cox and say - yes, he would have started reviewing "Don‘t-Ask, Don‘t-Tell" on day one.  I mean, it‘s almost impossible to believe that the party of Karl Rove would outflank Democrats on gay rights issues right now.  But the gay community has been left empty-handed by the Democrats now over and over again.

DEAN: Well, let‘s not go too far out here.

MADDOW:  I never do.

DEAN:  Republicans used the gay community and whipped up anger gay and lesbian Americans in order to win elections for 30 years.  I hardly think the Republican Party is to the left of the Democrats on gay rights.

But I have always - you know, individuals or human beings are very interesting people.  And while I disagree with Dick Cheney and think frankly some of his conduct has been reprehensible around the issue of torture and the war, I‘ve always admired him.

And I actually told him so at the White House before I left the governorship how much I admired him on the issue of gay rights.  He has a personal stake in this.  And he hasn‘t been afraid to say what most Americans who find out they have gay people in their family say, "If given the choice of being anti-gay and loving my children, I‘ll pick loving my children."

That‘s where 90 percent or more of Americans go.  That is one of the reasons that the movement for equal rights among gay and lesbian Americans have been so successful.  So yes, I think this is a bad situation here.  I think I have no doubt the Obama people will do the right thing.  But they don‘t have a lot of time because this is a little bit too far.

MADDOW: Tick-tock, tick-tock.

DEAN:  It was a lot too far.  It wasn‘t a little bit too far.  It was a lot too far.

MADDOW:
 Gov. Howard Dean, former governor of Vermont, former DNC chairman, current contributor to CNBC and always a very welcome guest on this show.  Thanks for joining us, sir.

DEAN: Thanks, Rachel.

Originally posted to Scott Wooledge on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 07:59 AM PDT.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (296+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades, chase, Renee, JekyllnHyde, Ed in Montana, chuck utzman, Grendel, chrississippi, RedMeatDem, itsbenj, murphy, Rayne, finocchio68, 2pt5cats, tiponeill, vancookie, tnichlsn, Sprinkles, hyperstation, waytac, KateG, oysterface, eeff, polecat, patsy in pgh, recentdemocrat, Matilda, musicsleuth, opinionated, bronte17, smugbug, understandinglife, CoolOnion, poemless, PBnJ, buckhorn okie, javelina, Larry Bailey, bruh1, MazeDancer, sngmama, MadEye, Jesterfox, high uintas, tidalwave1, oldjohnbrown, TiaRachel, churchylafemme, Nemagaiq, noveocanes, johnnygunn, Sychotic1, Catte Nappe, Tillie630, Pohjola, fritzrth, inclusiveheart, PerfectStormer, DMiller, JayBat, side pocket, Wife of Bath, TexasLefty, bablhous, homogenius, MNPundit, Big Tex, rapala, CPT Doom, ExStr8, radarlady, escapee, Nadnerb in NC, Tonedevil, PBen, Big River Bandido, KnotIookin, craigkg, devadatta, zombie, Viceroy, Pam from Calif, where4art, jcitybone, Burned, cassidy3, QuickSilver, Eric K, rb608, Geekesque, FunkyEntropy, benny05, stillrockin, sgary, JanF, Matt in AA, Jim R, begone, lgmcp, pico, esquimaux, gwilson, Do Tell, Pinko Elephant, vigilant meerkat, sherlyle, tung sol, dharmafarmer, andydoubtless, hungrycoyote, Mad Biologist, Ellicatt, dykester, Son of a Cat, fou, prodigal, greenearth, triv33, gooderservice, dedmonds, imabluemerkin, CTLiberal, bleeding heart, AndyS In Colorado, ER Doc, Dinclusin, doinaheckuvanutjob, dirkster42, creekobear, equern, Picot verde, AllanTBG, liberaldemdave, tegrat, AmericanRiverCanyon, bigchin, blue armadillo, dmh44, Cottagerose, bfbenn, terryhallinan, threegoal, edsbrooklyn, FishOutofWater, LillithMc, Richard Lyon, Nespolo, david mizner, joyful, bnasley, jayden, yulooloo, chicago jeff, jamesia, cadejo4, Ken in Tex, Moderation, Rumarhazzit, M Sullivan, Puffin, ImpeachKingBushII, rf7777, keikekaze, cloudbustingkid, Predictor, roycej, TomP, VA Breeze, Blue Boy Red State, GANJA, Dem in the heart of Texas, wondering if, mconvente, tdub, Hippokleides, Phil N DeBlanc, dave1042, limpidglass, crescentdave, elwior, left my heart, bluesheep, TokenLiberal, rubine, mofembot, meldroc, Gilmore, kempsternyc, Jacques, luckylizard, nokkonwud, doppler effect, dont think, dmhlt 66, greenpunx, shortgirl, JonBarleycorn, SciMathGuy, 1BQ, Bule Betawi, multilee, cybrestrike, smellybeast, tpabob, two roads, litoralis, sustainable, ewmorr, An Affirming Flame, fearisthemindkiller, Sarge in Seattle, RandomActsOfReason, Buster CT1K, mkor7, DefendOurConstitution, zbbrox, ZilV, bfitzinAR, TylerFromNE, sanglug, Feliks, kevinpdx, CityLightsLover, Muzikal203, angel d, ruscle, Lazar, Its the Supreme Court Stupid, seesmithrun, awcomeon, pyegar, GBC, Obamican08, veracityus, LaughingPlanet, The Jester, Gangster Octopus, BP in NJ, amk for obama, fidellio, teachme2night, BFSkinner, chrome327, KentuckyKat, mamalovesobama, legalchic, Eddie L, Klaus, IndependentVet4Obama, Looking for Mauve, ricardomath, sharonsz, quagmiremonkey, Mikki SE Pa, MsGrin, Actbriniel, Rockpopple, Pakalolo, dmet, Colorado is the Shiznit, angstall, odhumanity, allenjo, CaliKitty, implicate order, Zooey Glass, freesia, Susipsych, m00finsan, nefrocatracho, asterkitty, stonedoubt, cyeko, hrtrader, KelleyRN2, two moms in Az, blue husky, dle2GA, RfrancisR, teloPariah, texcubsf, tardis10, arcticshadow, PeggyD, MCinNH, svboston, Conure, VTCC73, Druggy Bear, Curiosity, skeptiq, blackjackal, Ezekial 23 20, thejoshuablog, gad, Chitown Kev

    It only took five months of GOP being out of power for the Right Wing to start shooting up the country. Terrorists!

    by Scott Wooledge on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 07:59:53 AM PDT

          •  Every President needs a "bad cop". (7+ / 0-)

            Rahmbo may be a mean-ass SOB, but dammit he's OUR mean-ass SOB.

            ANY White House chief of staff will be counseling which fights to pick. I have long said that we may have to be happy with getting one LGBT bill through this congress and that I thought that would most likely be Hate Crimes or repealling DADT. It's looking like it will be Hate Crimes.

            IMO, we need to do two things:

            1. We need to recognize that it will take us years to complete our agenda at the federal level. Currently we have zero federal laws protecting LGBT civil rights.
            1. We also need to realize that it will take more activism, more pressure, more organizing, more coalition-building to get there, not less. We're not going to coast to victory. We're going to have to work harder to close the final gap.

            If we pass Hate Crimes, we will reach a major milestone on two counts:

            1. We will, for the first time, pass a federal law protecting LGBT civil rights.
            1. The portion of the law that requires law enforcement to complise statistics tracking hate crimes against LGBT people will be a significant tool in our struggle for equality. Yes, we will have to fight many battles (and may eventually have to get provisions passed to strengthen the law), but this is the necessary first step.

            When it comes to DADT, I'm less concerned about Obama's reluctance to act than I am Congress. We need to start demanding action in Congress. I think we also need to demand more from Obama than just having his ranking LGBT staff member try to appease us. I'm willing to cut Obama some slack UP TO A POINT. But I'll believe he's serious when he stands before congress and calls for repeal of DADT.

            I have mixed feelings about what Obama is (not) doing. I have no illusions about passing all our civil rights protections in this congress or even the next.

            But I expect better than what we're getting so far from both Congress and the President.

            "Troll-be-gone...apply directly to the asshole. Troll-be-gone...apply directly to the asshole."

            by homogenius on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 11:35:49 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Sorry, He's YOUR SOB (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Clarknt67

              I consider Obama's pick of Rahm Emmanuel to be the first sign that Obama was in trouble.

              The Geithner pick was when I knew he was in REAL trouble.

              Nothing that has happened since has demonstrated that a netroots hating prick like Rahmbo was even marginally redeemed himself.

              RMD

              The Bushiter's Iraq 2004 - 1268 Dead, about 25K Medivacs and 9000 Maimed... It's the Bushiter Way, wasting other people's money and lives. And it's worse now.

              by RedMeatDem on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 05:57:30 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Totally agree. (3+ / 0-)

          We need Rahmbo to go after the fucking nutjobs, and we need Dean to hold Obama's feet to the fire.

          Now if only we could do something about that p*ssy Harry Reid.

          Blagojevich/Palin '12.

          by fou on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 12:07:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  The good doctor should have been President. (11+ / 0-)

        How I still despise the Democratic and media establishment for orchestrating the takedown of Dean in December 2003-January 2004, and putting that stiff Kerry in his place.

        I remain convinced that Bush was far more worried about a race against Dean than Kerry, because Dean was an unconventional and unpredictable candidate, whereas Kerry was dismally conventional and predictable.

        In any event, considering that Kerry lost and allowed his military service to be turned against him, the whole "He's more electable! He's a war hero!" meme of that time turned out to be pretty flimsy.

        "Animals are my friends. And I don't eat my friends." -- George Bernard Shaw

        by Hudson on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 02:33:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ditto (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RedMeatDem, Hudson, BP in NJ

          The good doctor should have been President. How I still despise the Democratic and media establishment for orchestrating the takedown of Dean in December 2003-January 2004, and putting that stiff Kerry in his place.

          I still feel like he is one who is truly on our side on all levels (as much as I generally adore Obama, he is more centrist than my preferences).

          I met Howard Dean at a Josh Shapiro rally in 2004 in suburban Philly. We spoke for a minute and shook hands. It was like meeting a favorite rock star. And yes, I have since washed that hand. Oh well.

          Yay Howard!

      •  OH, QUIT PICKING ON THE BLACK MAN (0+ / 0-)

        He can't and won't do what white men do.  Whites won't let him so start going to policy meetings and quit complaining!  

    •  You might want to READ that brief (19+ / 0-)

      http://www.scribd.com/...

      before you take other's opinions on what it says.  the footnote in question is talking about precedent for states to consider marriage that doesn't fit their definitions.  I believe that Obama clearly stated that it was a state matter, and this brief clearly (to me anyway) makes that case, not the hyperbolized one being reproted.

      •  the rest of the brief is just as bad (63+ / 0-)

        Arguing that the rights of the people to get married are extended to LGBT people because they can get a mixed-sex marriage is disrespectful.  Arguing that we shouldn't allow same sex marriages because it burdens the federal government (when the CBO said it would actually generate revenue), is at best disingenuous and moreover is degrading.  Arguing that miscegenation is not at all like the discrimination of LGBT couples is mind-boggling.  And saying that DOMA is a neutral law is ridiculous.

        The comparison to pedophilia and incest may be hyped, but the rest of the brief is pretty outrageous too.

        I have no help to send, therefore I must go myself. ~ Tolkien

        by Mad Biologist on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 08:33:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  better link to brief (5+ / 0-)

          without annoying need for username and password
          here.

        •  calling DOMA "neutral" is like... (12+ / 0-)

          ...calling a main battle tank a pick-up truck.

          "Great men do not commit murder. Great nations do not start wars". William Jennings Bryan

          by ImpeachKingBushII on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 10:00:41 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Really? Care to back that up with a citation? (0+ / 0-)

          I'd like to see what you see in it that's so inflammatory.

          •  see the initial americablog post breaking this... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Phil N DeBlanc

            it brings up all of the issues I mentioned in direct quotation

            ----

            specific references to the parts mentioned:

            "Section 3 of DOMA does not distinguish among persons of different sexual orientations, but rather it limits federal benefits to those who have entered into the traditional form of marriage."

            "To deny federal recognition to same-sex marriages will thus preserve scarce government resources, surely a legitimate government purpose."

            "The Court had little difficulty concluding that the statute, which applied only to "interracial marriages involving white persons," was "designed to maintain White Supremacy" and therefore unconstitutional. Id. at 11. No comparable purpose is present here, however, for DOMA does not seek in any way to advance the "supremacy" of men over women, or of women over men. Thus DOMA cannot be "traced to a . . . purpose" to discriminate against either men or women."

            "Section 3 of DOMA reflects just such an approach: it maximizes democratic flexibility and self-governance under our federalist system, by adopting a policy of federal neutrality with respect to a matter that is primarily the concern of state government."

            I have no help to send, therefore I must go myself. ~ Tolkien

            by Mad Biologist on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 11:51:43 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Ok, and where is it inflammatory again? (0+ / 0-)

              And bear in mind that, pre-Bush, the DOJ's job was to defend statutes as is, without political considerations.

              •  does it even matter what I reply with? (9+ / 0-)

                First you claim that the brief isn't incendiary to LGBT citizens, and that the link between incest and pedophilia are the only claims that are supportive of that.  I grant you that the link is over-hyped, and point to other deficiencies in morality in the brief.  Then you dismiss my post as not being relevantly cited from the brief.  Then after citing you ask me how these points are incendiary when I initially described how they were incendiary.  I know the DOJ had a job to do, but I will not be apologetic in criticizing the DOJ for overextending the arguments to the point of being illogical and factually untrue.

                Quote 1 implies that LGBT members may have the full rights and priveledges of marriage if any only if they enter into mixed sex marriage.  Do I have to explain how this is incendiary and contradictory to psychology, sociology and biology?  The APA does not consider homosexuality a disorder, and as such requiring mixed sex marriage of members of society who are not pursuiant of mixed sex relationships is discriminatory.  It requires homosexuals to denounce homosexuality simply for the purpose of gaining privileges granted to other members of society.  That's insulting to our basic being.

                Quote 2 implies, falsely, that extending rights to homosexual relationships will hurt the federal budget.  First this is incorrect by previous government assessments (during the middle of a republican run government mind you).  Also, it implies that it is only necessary for the government to extend right at the times at which it is financially able to do so.  How are same sex marriages going to destroy the federal balance sheet when we are handing out 700 billion to fat cats on wall street and not blinking an eye?  This is completely disingenuous and insulting as well.

                Quote 3 states that because there is no discrimination going on to males or females singularly, rather than discrimination against couples, that this case bears no similarity to the circumstances of Loving v Virginia.  Loving v Virginia established a right to marriage as a fundamental right, and the point here is that DOMA violates this fundamental right.  It is completely illogical to defend the line of reasoning that the DOJ is pursuing.

                Quote 4 argues that because the federal government is leaving the rules up to states it is a neutral argument.  DOMA prevents federal rights from being granted and therefore can't be neutral, but to imply such is ridiculous.

                It's one thing for the DOJ to submit a brief that states that there is no standing for a case.  It's another to go after every major point of contention for LGBT rights and dismiss them wholesale as irrelevant.  So bear in mind that nearly every administration's DOJ does not defend every case that comes in front of it (also pointed out by americablog).  Clearly you are missing something that 55 or so other people here at dKos seem to understand: there's a difference in defending a law and throwing the kitchen sink at a case.  The case is incendiary no matter how you slice it, and Obama's silence on the fact that it incendiary speaks volumes.

                I have no help to send, therefore I must go myself. ~ Tolkien

                by Mad Biologist on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 02:13:51 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Well, that's bullsh*t on the supremacy part (0+ / 0-)

              ... because the religious institutions that are fighting for DOMA and against gay marriage are all the ones which have as their official belief creeds, that males are to rule the Earth and women are to be subservient to them and obey the male's interpretation of holy scripture.

              They can't subvert the females which refuse to marry men, and the men cannot be in the good graces of their churches and therefore their God with out being married to a female they exercise this control over.  Pepperdine University, where Prop 8 legal defender Ken Starr is on the faculty, is affiliated with a church which states that the men serving in the capacity of elders must be married and the wife and all offspring must be in the official good graces of this church or they cannot hold the position.

              Any types of schools which receive any type of government funding such as students using scholarships, grants, etc, to pay for tuition and fees,  would then have a problem adhering to and teaching the religious tenets and accepting this money. This is conflict. We fund discrimination in our society when we inadvertently support such quasi religious institutions with our tax moneys.  

              There are many other examples. John Stoos, longtime political advisor to McClintock, and the self proclaimed "pastor" of a tiny local fundi- evangelical church and a follower of Rushdooney, (think Christian Taliban, installing a Biblically based theocracy, and stoning gays to death)  also has it as a creed on their church's faq page that women must be subservient to men, and men run the show, to have membership.

              Same with the LDS church, obviously.  There are no female LDS politicians.  It is institutionalized discrimination.  

              These attacks on the role of women in our society, as not being suitable to having any authority over men, (notice the hysteria over a woman speaker and supreme court justice) extends to their actions in the workplace where they attempt to discriminate, and it is extending to them in the marketplace, where they are attempting to deny them such things as insurance and survivors' benefits.

              Any time one of their adherents proclaims "the US is a Christian Nation," this is shorthand code for "we believe that financial discrimination against non traditional gender roles is acceptable."   They claim gay marriage will break down society, and they make the claim that people are poor because they do not get married.  I have read that claim repeatedly on the neocon fundie type sites.  They recognize that marriage can lead to greater wealth thru tax benefits, thus, they seek to deny marriage to those they wish to suffer poverty (aka make suffer for their sins.... )  

              Any time one of their adherents proclaims "gay is a choice and a mental illness, and by trying to make my children gay you are condemning them to eternal damnation" that is with the intent to discriminate.  Saying "choice" denies biology.  The discriminators assign value by biology, just as once skin color determined whether a person could be owned, bought, or sold.

              How can they claim DOMA does not trace to a purpose to discriminate against women financially?  DOMA exists because these religious groups insist on government adopting their intrepretation of the Bible.  That is a bizarre argument.  

              A counter argument may be made that DOMA is also prohibiting men from same gender marriages, so it is not attempting to position men as superior to women.   Men are not seen as "dependent economic units" by these religious authorities the same way females are. Also known as .... tax deductions, along with the resulting children!  You have to look at it as a ultra conservative right wing religious authority does, and not as a lawyer or layperson does, to see this.  A rich man in the Old Testament Bible had more than one wife and many children....  women who eschew marriage to men for marriage to other women would actually be more threatening to these people's ability to control what is done with resources.

              "Toads of Glory, slugs of joy... as he trotted down the path before a dragon ate him"-Alex Hall/ Stop McClintock

              by AmericanRiverCanyon on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 02:42:14 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  You might want to read the New York Times (53+ / 0-)

        editorial this morning.

        http://www.nytimes.com/...

        If the administration does feel compelled to defend the act, it should do so in a less hurtful way. It could have crafted its legal arguments in general terms, as a simple description of where it believes the law now stands. There was no need to resort to specious arguments and inflammatory language to impugn same-sex marriage as an institution.

        "I had seen the universe as it begins for all things. It was, in reality, a child's universe, a tiny and laughing universe." Loren Eiseley

        by cadejo4 on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 08:49:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  That would make an excellent diary. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sychotic1, lgmcp, 1BQ

        A careful analysis of the brief itself. Has anyone posted a diary that does this yet? Sounds like a natural for Seneca or some of the other lawyers hereabouts.

      •  You're pissing into the wind here. (19+ / 0-)

        If that's the right expression.  But it's good to try, I guess.

        (1) The whole discussion is very frustrating because I agree that the rhetorical tone of the brief was inexcusable.

        (2)  At the same time, Maddow - who I think is far too bright to mischaracterize something so badly - has utterly mischaracterized the content of the brief.  Too bad, since there is no need to do that to make the point (1) above.  She loses a lot of cred and respect with me when she does this. I used to worship the ground she walks on.  Not so much anymore. There are too many instances where she just sounds like another ill-informed bobble-head.

        (3)  Then she puts Howard Dean on her show as some sort of legal expert, which is laughable.  He says some utter nonsense about reciprocity of contracts between states, which of course doesn't exist.  There is something called the Full Faith and Credit Clause, which is what I assume he means.  The legal argument is precisely whether DOMA violates FFC.  FFC has always been interpreted historically as containing a "public policy exception."  Without going into detail, this is the place you have to look if you are going to defend DOMA's constitutionality.  (Actually, the problem I've always had with DOMA is that if it is constitutional, it is unnecessary and redundant).  Having decided it is bound to do so, DOJ was obligated to present the court with all precedent that can be used to shoehorn DOMA into the public policy exception.  This is advocacy 101.  Had DOJ done that in a more rhetorically restrained fashion, I would have to reluctantly accept that.  Unfortunately, the brief goes gratuitously beyond where it needs to go, IMO.  

        This brief should have been looked at harder and revised.  Still, it is worth keeping in my that the outcome of defending DOMA's constitutionality would be the same regardless of the rhetoric.  

        I don't know if DOMA is constitutional, by the way.  No one does.  It is a legal gray area.  Howard Dean is a doctor and a politician, not a constitutional scholar in any way, shape or form.  His unequivocally stated opinion that DOMA is clearly unconstitutional carries about as much weight as my opinion would in medical diagnoses.  I can read websites and offer up an opinion based in some degree of knowledge, but it will be an impoverished opinion with a high probability of being wrong.

        I get the point.  "Fierce advocate" is a poor way to describe Obama's approach to ANYTHING, let alone LGBT rights.  Obama is and always will be cautious, acutely aware of political realities, and always acting in what he believes is the best, long-term strategic fashion to achieve as many of the progressive goals that he set forth as possible in the most rational and effective manner possible.

        That is why I voted for and support Obama.

        Those who expect their issue to take precedence regardless of whatever else is going on simply because it feels so personally shitty to them are bound to be disappointed by Obama.

        The GNOP: "We take the bi out of bi-partisanship"

        by Mother of Zeus on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 08:53:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The LEGAL problem I've (6+ / 0-)

          had with DOMA, by the way, not the ethical one, which is another issue altogether.  Before someone comes and rips me a new one.

          The GNOP: "We take the bi out of bi-partisanship"

          by Mother of Zeus on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 08:54:46 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  FISA, military tribunals, rendition... (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Salo, sternsieger, rf7777, costello7, Clarknt67

          bank bailouts while everyone else sinks, secrecy of whitehouse visitors, war, war, war...yea, I guess we are some of us loyal to the above constitutional issues.

          •  This is incoherent, but, whatever . . . (8+ / 0-)

            I guess your point is that we're up to our eyes in constitutional violations from the last 8 years, so why choose this moment to get all legally nitpicky?  

            Look, the DOJ defends the constitutionality of laws passed by Congress, if they are constitutionally defensible.

            The last 8 years and the scary way it has shaken the edifice the rule of law argues for a return to rigorous legal analysis, not a further turning away from it, OK?  Does that mean that the brief's language is OK?  No, it does not. Does that even mean that the DOJ's arguments that DOMA is constitutional are correct?  No, it does not.  It means that in a properly operating society based on the rule of law, we follow those procedures and don't take shortcuts just so we can end up where we want to be without all the bother of, you know, considering the law.

            The GNOP: "We take the bi out of bi-partisanship"

            by Mother of Zeus on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 09:03:56 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I think you will find acceptance (24+ / 0-)

              within the LGBT community that there is a valid reason for the administration to have had to defend DOMA. What is infuriating is a total lack of empathy by the lawyers in the progressive community who either

              a. Argue that it was nothing more than a "vigorous defense" and the there is no reason to get offended by the case law cited.

              b. Condescend that our outrage is self indulgent hyperbole and my we should celebrate Obama's respect for the law.

              Here is the deal. This is not some abstract policy debate. This is our lives, and Obama gave a road map to those who think of us as second class citizens. All these "yes, but...." arguments put forth by the lawyers on this site show how truly alone the LGBT community is.

              We've all got both light and dark inside of us, what matters is the part we choose to act on. That is who we really are. - Sirius Black

              by Schtu on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 09:28:06 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •   Jurisdiction and Standing arguments (16+ / 0-)

                They could have argued both Jurisdiction and Standing issues, without in fact waiving the constitutional arguments...That would have upheld the rule of law. Why didn't they do that?

                •  I agree. I thought the same thing (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Yoshimi, Bronxist, craigkg

                  initially, and am really not sure why they didn't.  It's a good question.

                  The GNOP: "We take the bi out of bi-partisanship"

                  by Mother of Zeus on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 09:46:12 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I think it is because (6+ / 0-)

                    They saw nothing wrong with the language.  

                    To some people, saying that gays and lesbians can always marry someone of the opposite sex if they want to get married, is not offensive.   Much of the things that were hurtful in this brief came from the minds of people who don't give a shit about LGBT issues.  

                    The bigger problem is that enough of those people exist in the DoJ that nobody caught what a big social blunder this was.   (If it was a legal blunder, that remains to be seen as this language is refereed to down the road by others.)

                    If this sort of language was used against Hispanics or Jews or Women or any minority that has had to struggle for rights, there would be even MORE outrage.  And it would be on every channel... not just Rachel Maddow.  

                •  and on the merits ... simply note precedence (0+ / 0-)

                  Simply note that higher courts have upheld DOMA and have ruled against the legal arguments presented that would strike down DOMA.  No need to try to justify why those higher courts did what they did.

                •  My best guess? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  teachme2night

                  They left it to the mormon Bush holdover to reuse his out-of-date talking points and it failed to get flagged up the food chain at Justice. (Some combination of lack of oversight and really not giving a shit.)

                  "Troll-be-gone...apply directly to the asshole. Troll-be-gone...apply directly to the asshole."

                  by homogenius on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 11:47:23 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Definite possibility. Not just Mormons, remember (0+ / 0-)

                    when Bush packed the DOJ with all those illustrious graduates of Pat Robertson's highly respected Regent University Law School? This is what their dear ol' Alma Mater trained them to do.

              •  Thank you! (9+ / 0-)

                This realization came to me as a MI resident back in '04 when the state's voters passed an anti-marriage equality amendment.  

                I'm tired of people on Kos telling us we're too emotional or hysterical about this.  Guess what?  I imagine if your marriage was dissolved thanks to churches lying about you, Republicans vilifying you, and Democrats ignoring you then you'd be a touch emotional, too.  Add into that mix this offensive brief and inaction on a HOST of LGBT issues (HIV travel ban, DOMA, DADT, ENDA), and it's obvious that LGBT Americans have very real reasons to be not just disappointed with this administration but with Democrats and with our so called "allies".

                Cheers.

                Formerly of Ann Arbor (AA). Now in Baltimore!

                by Matt in AA on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 09:54:29 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Actually, if my marriage were dissolved (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Chris Andersen

                  for those reasons, the first thing I'd do is see a lawyer to ensure that all the critical legal obligations relating to property, child custody, emergent treatment and visitation issues, were squared away by private contract.

                  And then would come the long slog of political work to overturn it.  

                  And there would be emotion, but not of such degree or uniqueness as would give me some kind of automatic priority over the emotions of people without jobs, without health care, without all kinds of other basic needs met.  Or over national security and working to undo all the harm Bush did in 8 years of further destabilizing the Middle East.  (Hopefully you do recall how bad 9/11 sucked.  Don't know you if you had anyone in the Towers, but, it sucked, remember?)  Or over the cries of those fighting every day to change course and avoid a global-wide catastrophic climate crisis.  Etc., etc.

                  Out of curiosity, how many people on Kos do you suppose voted for that MI amendment?

                  Please don't tar with such a wide brush. Please.

                  The GNOP: "We take the bi out of bi-partisanship"

                  by Mother of Zeus on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 10:11:44 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  It's not about voting for it (4+ / 0-)

                    It's about not joining us in the fight.  And I mean really  joining us.

                    Did I say people on Kos voted for it?  I did not. But I certainly think many straight "allies" just don't understand.  

                    Most people deal with the immediate.  We already had all the legal stuff squared away. Sometimes it seems to me that people don't quite get the emotional impact of being a vilified minority in this sense. It's ugly, and it's constant. So it can be difficult to put that aside, and one can find it insulting to hear that your very being is less important than other issues.  

                    I imagine, though, that you'd hope people would feel empathy for you, right?  And you'd hope that they'd try to work for your equality on a host of issues, say for your foreign-born partner to be able to stay here or for your HIV+ friend to be able to visit? Or for your Army friend to be able to serve her country?  

                    Cheers.

                    Formerly of Ann Arbor (AA). Now in Baltimore!

                    by Matt in AA on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 10:33:25 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  First thing, assuming... (7+ / 0-)

                    for those reasons, the first thing I'd do is see a lawyer to ensure that all the critical legal obligations relating to property, child custody, emergent treatment and visitation issues, were squared away by private contract.

                    You were financially solvent enough to pay for all those legal bills. Membership has it's privileges.

                    It only took five months of GOP being out of power for the Right Wing to start shooting up the country. Terrorists!

                    by Scott Wooledge on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 10:36:56 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Looking at your laundry list ... (4+ / 0-)

                    of things that GLBT folks have to do (and yes, I've done some of them as well) to protect ourselves in light of the lack of equality in America, is it any wonder that the group most forcefully defending the DOJ on DOMA happens to be .... lawyers?

                    I know, not all of them, but enough to make one wonder.  Self preservation, job security?

                    In honor of the Obama Administration's actions on GLBT issues during Pride month, Pride 2009 is proclaimed "Back of the Bus Pride Month".!

                    by emsprater on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 10:47:44 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  WTF? (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Tonedevil, Eddie L

                    "there would be emotion, but not of such degree or uniqueness as would give me some kind of automatic priority over the emotions of people without jobs, without health care, without all kinds of other basic needs met."

                    That's what you're accusing gay people of?

                    Sounds like more "shut up and know your place" crap to me.

                    •  And this is why the discussion never (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      jennyL, Escamillo

                      really gets any better.  No one is allowed to offer any perspective except for pure rage at the injustice.

                      How is anything going to get any better if all anyone is permitted to do is vent?

                      At some point, don't we have to just recognize the obvious - this administration is not going to put it out there for marriage equality (and frankly never promised to do so) - and just continue the fight?

                      You know, I understand that people are hurt by this, but yeah, at some point when all that hurt people will permit is more and more of the same anger and hurt and nothing more, then they are allowing their emotions to stand in the way of common sense and progress.

                      I am so disheartened by the number of encounters I've had here with people who disagree with my perspective about process, even though we actually agree on substance, INSISTING that I am actually and in fact telling them to STFU, when in fact I have never said anything of the sort.

                      Frankly, it seems to me that the people who are outraged and driven by emotion are the ones who are telling everyone else to STFU.

                      The GNOP: "We take the bi out of bi-partisanship"

                      by Mother of Zeus on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 11:06:13 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  We WERE promised. That's what makes it (4+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Schtu, Tonedevil, teachme2night, Eddie L

                        all the more frustrating.

                        Not to mention the further frustration of knowing that we don't have any real options or leverage (what are we going to do, start supporting the right-wing just 'cause Cheney thinks DOMA is wrong?)

                        However, the tone of the other posts that are supposedly trying to offer their "other perspective" often DO come across sounding like we don't have a right to be angry because the DOJ did what they "had" to do.

                        Never has so much been taken from so many by so few for so long...

                        by JWSwift on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 11:20:50 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I'M angry about the tone of the (0+ / 0-)

                          brief, although I don't know that I think the DOJ would be correct to fail to defend the constitutionality of the statue altogether.

                          But when did Obama promise his administration would fight for marriage equality?  Never.  He has NEVER stated support for marriage equality.  I support him notwithstanding this absurd position that I think he felt compelled to take for political reasons.

                          The GNOP: "We take the bi out of bi-partisanship"

                          by Mother of Zeus on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 11:35:12 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  He promised to repeal DOMA (or, at least, (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            teachme2night

                            to spearhead an effort to do so). He called himself a "fierce advocate" of GLBT rights.

                            As I said in another thread (or this one...don't remember), I haven't seen "fierce". Hell, I haven't seen "advocate".

                          •  I think it will be repealed (0+ / 0-)

                            I don't believe he promised, nor would I have expected, that he was going to prioritize that over health care, economic recovery  and other items that affect everyone and that - if he executes them successfully - will build more political capital for the important fights that support the rights of minorities.

                            I can't say I think that strategy is wrong.

                            But I agree that as of yet, I haven't fierce or advocate on the GLBT front from Obama.

                            I'm not ready to judge him on this after 5 months, however.

                            The GNOP: "We take the bi out of bi-partisanship"

                            by Mother of Zeus on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 02:08:20 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  He lied on the "fierce advocate" statement, (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Clarknt67

                            mostly to himself, IMO.

                            OK, there've been thousands of posts wrt the "fierce advocacy" thing.  Yes, he lied on that.  Now what?  Just keep posting that over and over?

                          •  That promise went down the memory hole a (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Clarknt67

                            couple of months ago -- it disappeared from the Obama website.

                            There were eight promises made to the GLBT community during the campaign, and now there are only seven listed.

                            DOMA is the one that vanished, and none of the remaining seven is in danger of immediate fulfillment.

                    •  I don't think there's much question that the top (0+ / 0-)

                      issues for DKos members are gay marriage and torture.  They do supersede all other issues, not among gays, but among Kossacks.  Surely you can admit that.

                  •  I did (6+ / 0-)

                    who should I send the bill for $7500 in legal fees that we paid to set up our living trust? Is that how much a marriage license runs these days? Also, my attorney advised against traveling to Virginia because there is a question as to whether these private contracts could be construed as replicating the instruments of marriage based on their draconian laws.

                    No, it is unique. In my state of California progressive causes swept the ballot except for one. Prop 8. The day after the election sucked.

                    We did do the long slog of political work.... it was called electing a President and Congress who said they would support us. And now they are turning their backs.

                    And by the way, regarding the health care. Do you really think for one minute that my partner and I are going to qualify as a family under a Federal program considering we are locked out of all other Federal benefits? So, this IS about health care.

                    We've all got both light and dark inside of us, what matters is the part we choose to act on. That is who we really are. - Sirius Black

                    by Schtu on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 10:56:07 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I recognize there (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      RandomActsOfReason, jennyL

                      are real world implications of not having full marriage rights.  I think most of them can be addressed as you have addressed them.

                      Nowhere in my post did I suggest I thought it was somehow fair or just that you should have to take measures that a straight couple doesn't have to take.

                      I answered a question about how I would feel/what I would do in your shoes.

                      I don't think I would feel that marriage equality should be at the top of the legislative agenda.  Because I tend to not think with my emotions and I rarely if ever think that the issues that affect me the most personally are the ones that everyone else should be most concerned about.

                      So I can pretty reliably predict that I wouldn't take the perspective of the poster that I was responding to.

                      I'm not really sure how you think that translates into me simply failing to understand that there is an injustice occurring.

                      The GNOP: "We take the bi out of bi-partisanship"

                      by Mother of Zeus on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 11:13:46 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  But all I hear from these posts is: (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        eclare, Tonedevil, teachme2night

                        "You may be right that there is an injustice created by DOMA, but it is currently the law so it has to be defended by DOJ, and there was nothing technically wrong with the brief that DOJ filed, so you people should just calm down about the brief, especially since I don't think DOMA should be a national priority anyway, because I'm thinking with my head and not my emotions."

                        Never has so much been taken from so many by so few for so long...

                        by JWSwift on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 11:25:44 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  You are wrong and ignorant. So you can drop the (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        dykester, two moms in Az

                        holier-than-thou, know-it-all attitude.

                        There are real world implications of not having full marriage rights.  I think most of them can be addressed as you have addressed them.

                        Yeah, I think I'll just stop by LegalZoom and get our Social Security all fixed up quick fast and in a hurry. I here they're having a $19.99 special.

                        •  Oooooo!! I'll pop over there, too (0+ / 0-)

                          I'm sure they can take care of the other 1,000+ rights we're denied, too, for that same price! I'll have to call my friends and let them know . . . .

                          Like matter and anti-matter, Republicans and the truth seem unable to occupy the same space.

                          by dykester on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 12:59:04 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                  •  Perhaps you would, (6+ / 0-)

                    unless you lived in a state like Virginia that tried to take away our rights to privately contract for custody rights, emergency medical treatment, even owning a house jointly. Then you'd be screwed like the rest of us. And then you'd be paying higher taxes, instead of getting that juicy tax deduction for married filing jointly. And you'd have to pay thousands of dollars to get those special documents, too, that might protect your rights, at least until the hospital nurse refuses you access because she just doesn't believe it's right for you to be given access to your dying partner because his or her birth family is "uncomfortable" with you in the room, that same family that turned its back on him or her years earlier for being queer.

                    Oh yeah, I can see you staying dispassionate about losing your job because you're queer, and losing your kids because you're queer and your partner who gave birth to them died.

                    So curious that some people think we're asking for special benefits or rights when all we're asking is to be treated the same.

                    Like matter and anti-matter, Republicans and the truth seem unable to occupy the same space.

                    by dykester on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 12:53:24 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  It's hearing these real life horrors (0+ / 0-)

                      that make engaging in discussions here worthwhile, notwithstanding the extraordinary number of personal insults and intentional misunderstandings that one has to endure if one is trying to say anything other than the pure party line.

                      But a couple of problems here.  You migrated from marriage equality to losing a job or child over sexual orientation.  Those are not the same issues. A person (say, Obama) could reasonably say marriage equality should be left to the states but that other issues are fundamental rights that should not be.

                      Also, please recognize that I never said I would stay "dispassionate" about any of it.  I said I would not take the next step and insist that because it was so personally painful to me that it therefore must be at the top of the incoming administration's legislative agenda and if it is not, I am thereby entitled to rage on about how I've been duped, thrown under the bus, told to STFU, and everything else.  

                      Obama is not going to make the world perfect.  He's not going to stand up for marriage equality either.  I wish he would, since nothing will ever convince me that he personally does not favor full marriage equality, but he made his political calculation, and there's not a damned thing we can do about it.

                      He did promise to push for repeal of DOMA.  I will expect him to do so before he is out of office.  I will expect the same with regard to DADT.

                      Beyond that, I'm not going to assume that things have changed much.  We still have to fight these battles in our state legislatures, in the courts, and at a national level when possible.

                      That's just the way it works.  I'm sure you know this and I'm not telling you anything new.  But I feel like sometimes people think that should only apply to everyone ELSE's issues, but not to their own.  No. It applies across the board.

                      The GNOP: "We take the bi out of bi-partisanship"

                      by Mother of Zeus on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 02:59:17 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Damn, dykster -- I really hope those things (0+ / 0-)

                      didn't happen directly to you. Although, god knows, they are happening to tens of thousands of us all over the country.

                •  I try not to criticize people's ... (4+ / 0-)

                  ... emotional reactions. It is incredibly offensive to do so.

                  I just ask that people who are emotional about this crap don't let their emotions override their common sense.

              •  I agree that it is appropriate (4+ / 0-)

                to go beyond the stale and barren "this is just a vigorous legal defense" line, since there are a variety of ways to make a legal case and lawyers routinely decline to make all possible arguments for a variety of reasons.

                I don't think people's feelings should be dismissed as "self indulgent hyperbole," but I also think, candidly, that there are times when people sort of lose perspective and offer up ill-thought through diatribes that are best described as just that.  My own view is that when you see that, the best thing to do is just move on and let that person have their moment to vent, rather than coming out and accusing them of self-indulgent hyperbole.  This does not, however, change the fact that self-indulgent hyperbole is not that hard to find on this site.

                I disagree that the arguments are "yes, but."  I also disagree that they demonstrate that the LGBT community is alone.  I think there are unfortunate and inaccurate reductions.  

                I think marriage quality is coming - slower than I would like and faster than I would have predicted 5 years ago - on a state by state basis.  I think people of good faith can disagree whether this is the best approach or not.  But I think it is beyond dispute that this is the approach the current administration favors.

                The GNOP: "We take the bi out of bi-partisanship"

                by Mother of Zeus on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 09:58:45 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  asdf (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Matt in AA, Predictor, teachme2night

                  "I think marriage quality is coming - slower than I would like and faster than I would have predicted 5 years ago - on a state by state basis."

                  The problem with this view is that as long as DOMA is in existence, state by state marriage equality has very little substantive meaning.

                  •  DOMA does not, (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Bronxist, RandomActsOfReason

                    unless I am mistaken, require states to not recognize other states' marriages.   It purports to permit them not to do so.

                    As a critical mass of states is reached, the rights will have more meaning.  I understand the frustration and I recognize the limitations and frankly I'm not even arguing that a state by state approach is best. I just recognize that this is the approach the administration takes and I'm pretty much positive that nothing is going to change that.

                    So all I can rally do is work to get PA to come over the bright side and provide a right to same sex marriage.

                    The GNOP: "We take the bi out of bi-partisanship"

                    by Mother of Zeus on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 10:43:02 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

        •  If Obama was going to be a careful advocate (10+ / 0-)

          then that's what he should have said.

          If Obama was going to be your average everyday run in the mill advocate, then that's what he should have said.

          Barack Obama said he was going to be a fierce (snaps figures) advocate for gays and lesbians. The gay community read his lips.

        •  Thanks (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Aexia, Bronxist, Mother of Zeus, jennyL

          I understand fully the emotional pain this crap inflicts on people. The DOJ brief rubs salt in the wounds of years of outrageous rhetoric. But I refuse to let emotion overcome my ability to rationally analyze the arguments because it is rational argument that will ultimately win the day (at least when it comes to the courts).

        •  True. Why didn't she have Turley on? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jennyL

          He loves to critique/bash the Obama administration (but he's always smiling!), and he's a revered lawyer. Maybe they didn't want TOO much admin. bashing?

          Forward to Yesterday -- Reactionary aesthetics and liberal politics (in that order)

          by LABobsterofAnaheim on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 10:19:38 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  So now, not having Turley on is a conspiracy? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Clarknt67

            Come on, this is getting ridiculous. I'm just waiting for the accusation that Rachel Maddow sold "teh gays" down the river, because she put Dr. Dean on her show. She probably did it because she's angling for a spot in the Obama administration, right?

            This is not helping the discussion, and it's not going to help the cause.

            I thought I'd seen everything here, but this is so ridiculous.... (shaking head)

            One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

            by RandomActsOfReason on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 12:36:29 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Misunderstanding time! (0+ / 0-)

              Conspiracies or whatever we're not on my mind.
              For the record, I'm a huge Rachel fan, really I am. Watch her just about every night and agree with her on most things, even if I might quibble about certain matters. You should also be aware that I'm also the kind of poster who has to deal with (IMO extremely false) charges of being a mindless Obama worshipper because...hell, I'm not even sure at this point.

              Similarly, I have no factual clue at all why Rachel and her producers did what they did -- could easily have been an availability issue. On the other hand, you have to be aware that MSNBC is a profit-making enterprise and there's a reason they gave Ed Schultz a show and not, say, Amy Goodman or Glenn Greenwald. I was simply speculating -- perhaps too flippantly -- that maybe they find that criticizing Obama too much doesn't go over so well with the sort of mainstream liberal audience they're courting. If Turley had been on and, presuming that he agrees with Rachel on this, it might have felt to a lot of viewers like a real Bash Obama fest, perhaps upsetting a lot of them.

              Having a basically mainstream, if plainspoken, pol like Dr. Dean on, however, softens it, perhaps going better with their audience. Only problem is, damnit Jim, he's a doctor not a constitutional lawyer. Again, no idea if it was intentional or just how things went down. Sorry to have given you the wrong impression.

              Forward to Yesterday -- Reactionary aesthetics and liberal politics (in that order)

              by LABobsterofAnaheim on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 01:55:35 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Turley's on all the time (0+ / 0-)

            Why fault the show for providing variety? Particularly if an a-lister like Dean was available.

            Jeez, nit pick much?

            It only took five months of GOP being out of power for the Right Wing to start shooting up the country. Terrorists!

            by Scott Wooledge on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 02:34:21 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Turley worships "rule of law" to the letter. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            LABobsterofAnaheim

            So he'd likely have no problem with the DOJ brief, since there's no problem with it from a strictly legalistic standpoint, and doing anything less than "zealous" defense of DOMA would be dereliction of duty on the DOJ's part.

        •  Not sure the point is "gotten"... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mother of Zeus, teachme2night

          I don't think anybody (well most of us) is trying to argue that the brief is flawed in logic or legally incorrect. The frustration is almost exclusively because of the "rhetorically UN-restrained" way it was worded. It was a slap in the face, since it DIDN'T need to be that way and the arguments COULD have been made with FAR more "restrained" rhetoric.

          We would expect to hear such things from a president and a party (when they were in power) that are known to be hostile to LGBT rights issues. We DON'T expect to hear it from a president and a party that CLAIM to be our ally. And when we do, it hurts a LOT more since it's like being stabbed in the back instead of a plain full-on frontal assault. And it calls into question all of the promises that have been made, and after all of our support to help put them into power, whether they actually MEANT any of what they said or not.

          Sure, there are other points that can be argued over the administration having some latitude in whether to defend a law they claim to be trying to overturn on our behalf, but that is more of an academic argument because the right-or-wrong is not quite so clear-cut. The wording of the brief is DEFINITELY wrong, OBVIOUSLY wrong and UNNECESSARILY wrong. It's about the equivalent of saying someone's child was born out-of-wedlock vs. saying the child is a bastard. Both are TECHNICALLY correct, but if you didn't HAVE to use the term "bastard," then why DID you?

          Never has so much been taken from so many by so few for so long...

          by JWSwift on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 11:14:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  George Wallace - (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Big Tex, Mad Biologist, Predictor

        Said that school integration was a state matter, too.

      •  I agree, but... (0+ / 0-)

        ...while the argument is not for making an explicit comparison, the implicit comparison is there, otherwise the argument makes no sense.

        The argument is that states don't have to recognize the marriage contract between two men, which is legally valid in another states, because they also don't have to recognize the marriage between an uncle and niece, which may be legally valid in another state (btw, in which state(s) is it legal for an uncle and niece to marry?)

        For this argument to hold water, the courts would have to rule that states have a compelling interest in treating same-sex marriage as the same as uncle-niece marriage. I think the constitutional barriers on that would be hard to overcome.

      •  Thank you for the link (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jennyL

        I am so glad I read that brief and I must say Rachel and Gov. Dean are wrong on this one. In no way does the brief compare Gay marriage to Pedophilia or incest. The brief is just saying the Govt does not recognise my brother or my cousin claiming my benefits because we are related.

      •  W.Scott Simpson is Bush appointee (0+ / 0-)

        The senior trial attorney in this case was a Bush appointee.  We just raise hell to the Whitehouse, that's all.  The Whitehouse will respond.
        http://www.groupnewsblog.net/...

      •  It isn't his fault! (12+ / 0-)

         title=
        Leave him alone!!!

        It only took five months of GOP being out of power for the Right Wing to start shooting up the country. Terrorists!

        by Scott Wooledge on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 08:57:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's certainly not ironic... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Predictor

          AAC: Support local arts

          by jamesia on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 09:16:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Actually (5+ / 0-)

          I've defended Obama a lot ... but let's face it, Obama has fucked up badly here.  I don't see any strategy here ... I do see a cowardly retreat. Now, let me made it clear, I despise Ralph Nader and his ilk, but when Obama and Democrats do something as stupid as this, they just strengthen his arguments.

          •  I always say if someone (5+ / 0-)

            wants to be a true Obama supporter the best thing they can do is to make sure he's not enacting or supporting bad policies.

            •  Exactly (0+ / 0-)

              As France was being a true friend when they told Bush "Look, invading Iraq is a bad idea." Friends don't let friends drive drunk.

            •  Agreed. But, there is difference of opinion (0+ / 0-)

              about the most effective way to go about achieving that common goal.

              It is not helpful to demonize, attack, mock or caricaturize those who share your goals but not your tactics.

              One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

              by RandomActsOfReason on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 12:39:57 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Tell Obama to Stop Making Jokes Then (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                teachme2night

                Because the attitude of the entire administration - not just regarding this pro-DOMA brief - has been dismissal or jokes - that's it. We got a proclamation, an invite to a public event (Easter Egg Roll) and a joke about Obama running off to Iowa with his campaign manager.

                If Obama and the rest of the "progressive" community really respect LGBT people and believe we are equal human beings, they will start acting like it, instead of making jokes or insisting we are being spoiled.

                A government that denies gay men the right to bridal registry is a facist state - Margaret Cho

                by CPT Doom on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 12:58:56 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I'm not part of the Obama administration (1+ / 1-)
                  Recommended by:
                  blueness
                  Hidden by:
                  teachme2night

                  and I have not defended their policies or attitude on this issue.

                  Once again, you are demonizing people who share your goals but differ on the methods.

                  Then you compound it by putting "progressive" in quotes, and lumping all of us together with everyone else who you disagree with in a monochrome caricature of hate.

                  I've never accused the LGBT community of being spoiled, and I never make jokes at the expense of ANY group based on ANY discriminatory criteria. Nor have I heard either of those sentiments widely here on Daily Kos.

                  Why are you so determined to alienate people who aren't your enemy?

                  How does that help us achieve the goal of equality for all?

                  One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

                  by RandomActsOfReason on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 01:50:55 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  We're the Ones Being Alienated (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    teachme2night

                    I am not demonizing anyone, just pointing out that the demonization of people who allegedly share values has already begun, by the Obama administration. It was Obama who made the Iowa joke - his ONLY comment on the sweep of equality that has come since the election. It was the Obama administration who made a backroom deal with HRC to delay any action on the LGBT civil rights agenda (hate crimes, quite frankly, don't cut it). It is the Senate leadership who can't find two damn sponsors for DADT repeal - something supported by more people in this country than Obama himself, including clear majorities of conservatives and churchgoers. Finally, it was the Obama administration that signed off on a horrific pro-DOMA defense that actually argued I have a right to get married - I just have to restrict myself to a woman - please.

                    Here's the point you and the rest of the alleged allies don't get - LGBT human beings are ALREADY EQUAL. What we are fighting for is official recognition of our humanity. This is not a political issue, it is an issue of basic human rights. The Obama administration acts like our entire community has the importance of Social Security reform, and our alleged friends in the liberal/progressive community are defending him and telling us to wait our turn, as if waiting for nearly 1,000 YEARS for equality wasn't long enough.

                    What I am railing against is the belief that somehow I have no right to my anger when, in both symbol and action, an alleged ally like Obama turns his back and tells us to shut up. Read the letter from Joe Solmonese at the HRC if you want to understand why we will not stand for this.

                    Personally, I am planning on being at that fundraiser next week - PROTESTING our (or is it now your?) President.

                    A government that denies gay men the right to bridal registry is a facist state - Margaret Cho

                    by CPT Doom on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 02:22:14 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  HR'd for unwarrented attack on DK member and (0+ / 0-)

                    for excessive melodrama.

                    There is no "hate" and no "demonization" in CPT Doom's post. None at all. Your attack on his/her character is offensive and uncalled for.

              •  *sniff sniff* hmmm... hypocrisy! (0+ / 0-)

                It is not helpful to demonize, attack, mock or caricaturize those who share your goals but not your tactics.

      •  Cue the chorus of (6+ / 0-)

        "Cue the chorus of 'Leave Obama Alone'!!!!"

        Oh, never mind . . .

        The GNOP: "We take the bi out of bi-partisanship"

        by Mother of Zeus on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 08:59:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  He's "playing chess," you moran! (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        chase, Timoteo, Big Tex, Predictor, RfrancisR

        You just don't understand his brilliant tactics.

        "Hannity, table for one?"--Damned Yankee

        by rhetoricus on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 09:21:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I Saw This Segment Last Night (13+ / 0-)

      and was absolutely horrified by the language used to "defend" DOFA. It sounded like someone hired Pat Robertson or Fred Phelps for the occasion!

      On behalf of my entire state, I apologize for Evan Bayh!

      by CityLightsLover on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 09:00:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Howard Dean you rock! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      homogenius, Predictor

      Right on Clark, Right on!

      This is how my ideal president would look and speak, in a perfect world.

      In a democracy you vote first and take orders later; in a dictatorship you don't have to waste time voting.

      by allenjo on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 10:05:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  NYT's editorial on the case (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      homogenius, RandomActsOfReason

      This is also posted way below, but maybe the diarist could update to include this in the diary:

      A Bad Call on Gay Rights

      Link to Editorial

      Published: June 15, 2009

      The Obama administration, which came to office promising to protect gay rights but so far has not done much, actually struck a blow for the other side last week. It submitted a disturbing brief in support of the Defense of Marriage Act, which is the law that protects the right of states to not recognize same-sex marriages and denies same-sex married couples federal benefits. The administration needs a new direction on gay rights.

      {snip...}

      The administration has had its hands full with the financial crisis, health care, Guantánamo Bay and other pressing matters. In times like these, issues like repealing the marriage act can seem like a distraction — or a political liability. But busy calendars and political expediency are no excuse for making one group of Americans wait any longer for equal rights.

  •  Thanks for posting this, Clark (17+ / 0-)

    I wish I had cable TV - just so I could watch Rachel. Thankfully, she posts a lot of her stuff on her webpage too. She really does make me happy - in contrast with the bozos on most mainstream TV shows. I just wish we had mroe Rachels :)

    Please support equality in California: http://www.couragecampaign.org

    by Curiosity on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 08:06:53 AM PDT

  •  She's actually stepping in it. Bad move. (25+ / 0-)

    The marriage between the uncle and a niece wasn't incestuous.  The marriage of the sixteen year old wasn't underage, much less child rape.  Bother were LEGAL...where they occured.  The issue was whether it had to be legal everywhere because it was legal somewhere.  

    Notably, Rachel indulges in the "yuck" factor...that the marriages that were blocked were just incest and underage and disgusting on their faces and, implicitly, that's good enough for another state to not to accept them.  It actually supports the concept that a mere icky feeling is sufficient to not respect another state's marriage.

    What SHOULD be done, rather than obsessively reading tea leaves over Obama in a brief, is to make the case for gay marriage that mere uncomfort with the unusual or the different, the ick factor, isn't good enough to deny same sex marriage in your state or refuse to recognize it in another state.  For example, we shouldn't allow incest and underage, not becaues they are icky, but because those factors go to the ability to consent and to genetic problems.

     

    "Newt's all for new ideas. He doesn't HAVE any. He's just FOR them."--Bob Dole.

    by Inland on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 08:08:18 AM PDT

    •  "What SHOULD be done ... (59+ / 0-)

      ...is to make the case for gay marriage that mere uncomfort with the unusual or the different, the ick factor, isn't good enough to deny same sex marriage in your state or refuse to recognize it in another state."

      Could the Obama administration give us an ETA for when its lawyers will make this argument?  

      Some people would be better off not reading diaries they comment on, since they already have all the answers.

      by Meteor Blades on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 08:14:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

        •  Couldn't possibly be that the DOJ lawyers, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Yoshimi, Argyrios

          Obama and a few other constitutional scholars are right, could it?

          •  Are right how? (15+ / 0-)

            They have discretion here, and even Inland and Adam B and other people who defend their decision in this matter realize that.  But the arguments are over the top; and since they're coming from people who had no problem with President Obama's signing statements, I take them with a grain of salt.

            What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

            by Alec82 on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 08:20:54 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  That this is a states rights issue. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              liberaldawg, jennyL

              I've read the brief, http://www.scribd.com/... , and this is all hyperbole hiding a real states rights case.  Obama spoke clearly on this being a states issue during the campaign.

            •  You keep telling us what we realize. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Yoshimi, Dragon Prince

              I wish you would stop ascribing bad faith to everyone who disagrees with your analysis of the law, particularly since it's not just me and Adam B.   I'm pretty sure you're doing it to cover up the fact you never citedto a single case, statute, court opinion or coherent argument that actually supports something you say.

              "Newt's all for new ideas. He doesn't HAVE any. He's just FOR them."--Bob Dole.

              by Inland on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 08:31:08 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Um, inland... (11+ / 0-)

                ..you've never, to my knowledge, cited a single case showing that there's no discretion in the matter; in fact, Adam cited an example of the opposite.

                What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

                by Alec82 on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 08:33:13 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Um. Link? (0+ / 0-)

                  Nope.  Again.

                  "Newt's all for new ideas. He doesn't HAVE any. He's just FOR them."--Bob Dole.

                  by Inland on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 08:35:11 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Whether one agrees with his conclusions... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Predictor

                    ...Metro flatly contradicts any argument that there's no discretion.  Clearly, there is.  You've cited the precedent.  

                    What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

                    by Alec82 on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 08:39:28 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Um. Link? (0+ / 0-)

                      Nope. Again.

                      "Newt's all for new ideas. He doesn't HAVE any. He's just FOR them."--Bob Dole.

                      by Inland on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 08:40:31 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  ugh (7+ / 0-)

                        What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

                        by Alec82 on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 08:43:06 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  LOL! Entirely irrelevant. (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Yoshimi, jennyL

                          Issue presented:

                          Whether the Federal Communications Commission's policy of awarding a qualitative enhancement for minority
                          ownership in comparative license proceedings violates the equal protection component of the Fifth Amendment.

                          We were talking about defending the constitutionality of statutes passed by Congress.  Not whether the DOJ can intervene to disagree with race preferences created by the policy of an independent agency.

                          Seriously, are you going to just pull any DOJ action out a hat and say, "AHA, discretion to ask a court to invalidate any old law"?  I mean, more than this time?

                          "Newt's all for new ideas. He doesn't HAVE any. He's just FOR them."--Bob Dole.

                          by Inland on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 09:00:38 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Ugh (4+ / 0-)

                            But as it turns out, there may be another exception to that obligation out there, and it's exceptionally on point.  Back in 1990, an ambitious young acting Solicitor General maintained before the Supreme Court of the United States that the DOJ was not obligated to defend the constitutionality of what he deemed to be a discriminatory federal statute -- the type of discrimination that his President had campaigned against.  He indeed argued that the statute his President had himself signed into law should be struck down as unconstitutional, urging the Court to employ a stricter level of scrutiny than what existing constitutional analysis actually required for laws of that sort.

                            The case was Metro Broadcasting v FCC, and if you're wondering why others have cited it in the past 24 hours without telling you the details, this may explain:

                            See, that young acting Solicitor General was named John Roberts, and he was making the types of arguments many of you wish Obama's DOJ had made against DOMA in order to argue against a federal preference program for minority broadcasters.

                            ...

                            So call it the Roberts Exception: if you believe that Obama's DOJ should have argued against DOMA's constitutionality, then you have to support the right of Bush I's DOJ (via Roberts) to make parallel arguments against the constitutionality of a federal affirmative action program.

                            http://www.dailykos.com/...

                            What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

                            by Alec82 on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 09:05:05 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You don't read very well. (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Yoshimi, wader, jennyL

                            N.B., Adam B doesn't say that Roberts did the right thing in failing to make an argument for a consitutionally defensible law.  In fact, he chalenges people to be consistent:

                            So call it the Roberts Exception: if you believe that Obama's DOJ should have argued against DOMA's constitutionality, then you have to support the right of Bush I's DOJ (via Roberts) to make parallel arguments against the constitutionality of a federal affirmative action program.

                            Since there's no possible justification for arguing this discretion you dreamed up, citing what Roberts did is no more than "I think he abused the law so we should too."  No, thanks.

                            "Newt's all for new ideas. He doesn't HAVE any. He's just FOR them."--Bob Dole.

                            by Inland on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 09:18:36 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  "Did the right thing" (4+ / 0-)

                            We're arguing about discretion, Inland.  I'm reading clearly.  What you're doing is blurring the arguments.

                            What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

                            by Alec82 on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 09:20:31 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Yes, and you're arguing unlimited discretion (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Yoshimi, jennyL

                            which is obviously wrong.  There's no basis for saying that without a clear precedent binding one way or another, that the president has discretion.  It's simply not the case.

                            At the very least, Obama would have to argue that there is some precedent on point that favors finding DOMA unconsitutional.  No such precedent exists.  You at least admit that, right?

                            "Newt's all for new ideas. He doesn't HAVE any. He's just FOR them."--Bob Dole.

                            by Inland on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 09:22:56 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  No, I don't admit that (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Predictor, costello7

                            There's no precedent on DOMA.  Unless you're arguing that the federal district court cases are binding.  There are only persuasive cases.  

                            I'm not arguing "unlimited discretion" either.  What if they just agreed that DOMA represented anti-gay animus? Brown did in his reply.

                             

                            What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

                            by Alec82 on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 09:25:48 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Right. (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Yoshimi, jennyL

                            You say if there's no precedent, Obama doesn't have to defend the constitutionality of the statute.  That's wrong.

                            What if they just agreed that DOMA represented anti-gay animus?

                            What if they just pretended to fulfill a constitutional function while undermining it?  What could possibly go wrong there?

                            "Newt's all for new ideas. He doesn't HAVE any. He's just FOR them."--Bob Dole.

                            by Inland on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 09:29:12 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Well ... (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Yoshimi, wader

                            ... would you agree that there is precedent as to the degree of scrutiny applicable to DOMA?

                          •  I wouldn't agree that there is any Supreme Court (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Predictor

                            ....precedent.  There's federal appellate court precedent.  But I don't agree that the administration cannot argue heightened scrutiny should apply, or that DOMA is based on animus.  They absolutely can.

                            What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

                            by Alec82 on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 09:50:49 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  obviously, that's the Metro Broad. precedent (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            wader

                            They can file whatever they want; this is all based on tradition and practice, not a legal obligation.  I just think it's a more valuable obligation than you do; I think Roberts was wrong not to defend the statute.

                          •  But you agree.... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            bruh1

                            ...with the Clinton DOJ's argument that 18 USC 3501 was unconstitutional, even after they acknowledged that there was a nonfrivilous argument in its defense.  Indeed, the Fourth Circuit upheld that statute.  So it isn't as clear as you would like to suggest.  

                            Which is part of the problem with this argument.  If there's a nonfrivilous basis for upholding the statute, the Clinton administration was wrong to argue against its constitutionality.  

                            What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

                            by Alec82 on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 11:20:36 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  here's the bottom line (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Alec82

                            do you believe there is a requirement that arise to legal obligation to defend a  law or is it something you think they should do because of tradition or policy reasons? I think you believe that it is the later. The problem is the confusion that many have that it is a legal requirement.

                          •  Is it just me or are those on KOS trying (10+ / 0-)

                            to support the DOJ's response as "legally valid" acting with a Bushian/Rovian/Chenian arrogance?  They seem to think they are the only ones with valid legal opinions and the rest of us are idiots.

                            It is very depressing to me.  The main issue Rachel and Dean were making is that it was politically tone death regardless of the legal issues involved.

                          •  That's correct, I think (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            bruh1, Predictor, teachme2night

                            They're actually attempting to defend the administration by hiding behind the "he had to" argument.  

                            There's a legitimate disagreement, but there are various apologists running around asserting that there isn't one.

                            What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

                            by Alec82 on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 09:28:30 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Moreover... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            According to Fish

                            ..the Adam has also discussed the anti-Miranda legislation and arguments made against it by the Clinton administration.  What you are arguing is that the DOJ should not make such arguments unless federal legislation is clearly unconstitutional, with a case on point.  

                            What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

                            by Alec82 on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 09:12:23 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Compare with what you are arguing: (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            jennyL

                            What you are arguing is that the DOJ should not make such arguments unless federal legislation is clearly unconstitutional, with a case on point.  

                            You are arguing that as long as there is no case directly on point, the administration can attack laws on constitutional grounds and seek to have them struck down.  There's no doubt THAT is wrong.

                            "Newt's all for new ideas. He doesn't HAVE any. He's just FOR them."--Bob Dole.

                            by Inland on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 09:19:54 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Actually... (4+ / 0-)

                            ....I seem to remember stating that they could have argued for heightened scrutiny.  They could also have conceded animus, if they wanted to follow the Romer and Lawrence line of cases.  

                            What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

                            by Alec82 on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 09:21:46 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  So you don't mind defending the statute (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Yoshimi, jennyL

                            as long as they do a horrible job and concede all the points that would allow for it to be struck down.

                            I think I've had enough smoke, mirrors and shams introduced into our constitutional system.  It's not okay because they did it.

                            "Newt's all for new ideas. He doesn't HAVE any. He's just FOR them."--Bob Dole.

                            by Inland on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 09:27:33 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You are totally missing the point on this whole (4+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Predictor, costello7, Alec82, Curiosity

                            issue.  This is a political issue as well as a legal issue.  The two are so intertwined at this point, that they must co-exist and really cannot be discussed separately.

                            How do you think a DOJ case defending an anti-abortion law would go over if it used murder cases as references?

                            How about a DOJ decision on black civil rights that referenced property cases to make a point?

                            This is why there is so much anger and disgust about this case, if you can't see this, then you are just as tone death and ignorant as the lawyers at the DOJ.

                          •  It is a political issue as well as a legal issue. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            jennyL

                            But the courts are where legal issues are decided and legislatures are where political issues are decided.  The idea of a political decision to pretend to take the side of a statute in a court of law and intentionally commit malpractice in order to make a de facto kangaroo court is offensive to me.

                            The idea of simply ignoring that political issues can and should be raised with your representatives is merely sad.  Did congress turn off its mail service?  Because putting so much hope and emphasis onto politicizing a brief is counterproductive.

                            How do you think a DOJ case defending an anti-abortion law would go over if it used murder cases as references?

                            How about a DOJ decision on black civil rights that referenced property cases to make a point?

                            Well, I don't know, since I have no idea what you're talking about.  

                            This is why there is so much anger and disgust about this case, if you can't see this, then you are just as tone death and ignorant as the lawyers at the DOJ.

                            Well, calling people tone deaf and ignorant isn't very politic, either.  I've already commented on the cases cited.  

                            "Newt's all for new ideas. He doesn't HAVE any. He's just FOR them."--Bob Dole.

                            by Inland on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 10:11:45 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I'm afraid that politics and law (7+ / 0-)

                            do not exist in the neat little air tight compartments that you are trying to construct. They never have and they never will.

                          •  I'm afraid, too. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            jennyL

                            I didn't much care for it when the Bush adminstration put politics into the USA offices and into court appointments and DOJ civil service jobs.  I didn't much care for the decision in Bush v. Gore.  

                            I suspect that you're going to want that law enforced without regard to politics if you get your decision the way you want it, or if the political process comes out the way you want it.  Then you'll turn to lawyers and the law in all it's non-politicized majesty and insist that the administration's or state's individual stands are of no account and cannot be considered because the law is sacred.  Hope it works out for you the way you want.

                            "Newt's all for new ideas. He doesn't HAVE any. He's just FOR them."--Bob Dole.

                            by Inland on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 10:28:17 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  There's a difference here. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Predictor

                            The way in which Bush used politics in his administration - was to further advance an agenda that was indeed harmful to the nation and its people. On the flipside, if Obama's administration actually stood up for equality by denouncing hateful legislation - then Obama's people would be standing up for what's right and in keeping with the US's goals of equality and freedom. The difference here - is hate vs. equality. I'd rather see a president stand up for equality.  

                            Please support equality in California: http://www.couragecampaign.org

                            by Curiosity on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 10:39:33 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Perhaps some context might be of use... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            jennyL

                            When the DOJ decides NOT to defend the constitutionality of a statute, then what happens?

                          •  Malpractice? (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Alec82

                            That seems a bit of a canard to me.  The parallels to the practice of law outside of the DOJ don't really work.

                            Hypothetical: You represent the plaintiff in a civil law suit under some hypothetical statute (call is 99 USC 9999).  The defendant files a motion to dismiss based on the argument that 99 USC 9999 is clearly unconstitutional based on binding Supreme Court precedent.  The defendant is right, insofar as binding precedent is concerned.

                            So, can you then go and switch sides and file a brief agreeing with the defendant, which goes entirely against the plaintiff's interests?  Of course not.

                            But the DOJ can.  No malpractice there.

                            The DOJ is governed under different rules than other lawyers.  It's not that your arguments, Inland, aren't defensible.  It's just that the "malpractice" argument does not really fit here.

                          •  I found it very enlightening that you said I was (0+ / 0-)

                            calling you "tone deaf and ignorant" since I actually said, "if you can't see this, then you are just tone death(sic) or ignorant".  Which means to me that you are admitting that you cannot understand why there is so much anger.  I stand by my comment.

                            I also find it disingenuous of you to claim to not understand what I was talking about when asking you how blacks would have felt if the DOJ had defended a law against black civil rights by using case references to property or how pro-choice supporters would feel about the DOJ defending a law against choice by referencing murder cases.  This is the same way that gay citizens feel about the DOJ using incest and underage marriage cases to argue against same-sex marriage.

                          •  well, 3501 was clearly unconst'l (0+ / 0-)

                            With Miranda being the case on point.  Even Rehnquist agreed.

                          •  What if... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Alec82

                            ...the Clinton DOJ disagreed with the defendants and that case and thought that 3501 WAS constitutional because either: (1) Miranda did not establish a constitutional rule; OR (2) Miranda was wrongly decided?  I assume there were non-sanctionable arguments in support of one of these lines of thought, correct?

                            Could the DOJ have defended the constitutionality of 3501?

                          •  Dickerson is ridiculously sui generis (0+ / 0-)

                            So, yes, it could have argued for 3501 on those lines -- the 4th Circuit so held, but it wasn't an argument the United States had actually advanced.  Instead:

                            Petitioner Dickerson was indicted for bank robbery, conspiracy to commit bank robbery, and using a firearm in the course of committing a crime of violence, all in violation of the applicable provisions of Title 18 of the United States Code. Before trial, Dickerson moved to suppress a statement he had made at a Federal Bureau of Investigation field office, on the grounds that he had not received "Miranda warnings" before being interrogated. The District Court granted his motion to suppress, and the Government took an interlocutory appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. That court, by a divided vote, reversed the District Court’s suppression order. It agreed with the District Court’s conclusion that petitioner had not received Miranda warnings before making his statement. But it went on to hold that §3501, which in effect makes the admissibility of statements such as Dickerson’s turn solely on whether they were made voluntarily, was satisfied in this case. It then concluded that our decision in Miranda was not a constitutional holding, and that therefore Congress could by statute have the final say on the question of admissibility. 166 F.3d 667 (1999).

                          •  Scalia disagreed (0+ / 0-)

                            So did the Fourth Circuit.  

                            Indeed, from the government's cert petition:

                            Considered in isolation, the language used in Tucker and its progeny that a violation of Miranda is not a violation of the Constitution could be read to support an inference that Miranda is not a constitutional rule. Indeed, the Fourth Circuit read those statements to mean that Miranda is simply a "judicially created rule" that may be supplanted by legislation. Pet. App. 17a. We agree that these statements generate tension within the Court's Miranda decisions. A well-established line of this Court's cases, however, requires the conclusion that Miranda, as applied by this Court, does indeed rest on a constitutional basis.

                            So the Clinton DOJ exercised discretion and decided to argue it was unconstitutional.  There was a nonfrivilous argument for agreeing to uphold the statute, however.  Your position seems to be that they were correct to ignore it.

                            What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

                            by Alec82 on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 11:16:00 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Yes, I do. (0+ / 0-)

                            Because of how well-grounded Miranda was as a constitutional rule, a super-duper precedent or what have you, as well as the fact that the Government wasn't trying to enforce the provision.

                          •  The statute applied, IIRC, to trial courts (0+ / 0-)

                            But there was a nonfrivilous argument that it was constitutional that was ignored by the Obama administration.  An appellate court and  one Supreme Court justice agreed.  

                            I think this is a selective "obligation" you're attempting to defend.

                            What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

                            by Alec82 on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 11:23:02 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Whoops, ignored by the Clinton admin nt (0+ / 0-)

                            What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

                            by Alec82 on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 11:25:23 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  But ignored on both ends (0+ / 0-)

                            Both in terms of "do we want to employ this statute to admit evidence" and "do we now want to defend it as constitutional"?  And administrations of both parties -- LBJ, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan and Bush I -- had declined to employ it as well, as had every district and appellate court which could have done what the 4th Circuit did.  I think there was a weight of history (as well as legal precedent) behind that decision which is lacking here.

                          •  Well there was a nonfrivilous argument (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            bruh1

                            And it is the duty of the administration, in your view, to defend statutes against a constitutional challenge.  Now you're bringing in "weight of history" which is really irrelevant.  And as far as legal precedent, it hadn't been challenged, there was no precedent on point.  

                            I don't find the argument very compelling.  They had a duty; you want to find a way around that duty, but it is a judgment call, which invites discretion.  At least three federal judges agreed.

                            What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

                            by Alec82 on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 11:30:14 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Can I bring in another factor? (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            bruh1

                            [By the way, it's four judges -- Thomas dissented too.]

                            I think the fact that it was also a 30-year-old statute that Congress showed no signs of being-upset-about-its-non-enforcement can also be considered -- basically, some kind of desuetude analysis.

                            But this is a provocative discussion, though whether I'm more inclined to disagree with Clinton/Reno in 3501 or flip to your side is still up in the air.  Let me flip the question around: if there is no duty of the administration to defend statutes against a constitutional challenge, when should it choose to do so?

                          •  It depends (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Alec82

                            What if happens if the administration does NOT choose to defend statutes against a constitutional challenge?

                            If the statute will nonetheless be defended (as 3501 was), then I would be more comfortable affording the administration some latitude in its deciding whether to defend statutes.

                          •  then the court doesn't hear both sides. (0+ / 0-)

                            Former SG Seth Waxman:

                            In 1996, Congress passed a law known as the Communications Decency Act. The law was enacted without hearings or committee consideration. It imposed criminal penalties on anyone who made available to minors on the Internet material that was "indecent" or "patently offensive." The Act was challenged before two three-judge district courts. All six judges found the law facially unconstitutional in every respect. The Justice Department's Civil Division recommended appeal to the Supreme Court, and my predecessor as Solicitor General agreed. Having argued the case, I can confirm that there is nothing quite like standing in front of the Supreme Court to defend the constitutionality of a law that not a single judge has ever found to be constitutional in any respect. The United States did lose (although we garnered two votes for two-thirds of the statute). But our adversarial system of constitutional adjudication was served. The United States' briefs served the valuable purpose of articulating for the Supreme Court the strongest possible rationale in support of constitutionality - a much stronger case than anything that had been articulated by or to Congress. Those arguments in turn prompted the parties challenging the statute to hone and improve their own positions. And when the Court concluded that the statute should be invalidated, it did so with assurance that it had considered the very best arguments that could be made in its defense.

                          •  Did the court not hear both sides in Dickerson? (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Alec82
                          •  But he was not able to provide... (0+ / 0-)

                            ...as forceful a defense of the statute as the DOJ would have?

                          •  certainly not the same moral authority (0+ / 0-)

                            And it's not often that you'll locate a professor who's made his academic name on advocating on behalf of a dead statute.

                          •  Do you think the courts lack their own moral (0+ / 0-)

                            authority outside of the President's views?

                          •  Desuetude (0+ / 0-)

                            Not a favored doctrine, and if I'm correct usually applied in the penal context, if at all, but not to determine the admissibility of evidence.

                            The difference here, I would argue, is that heightened scrutiny, or even animus, is largely a policy call.  It's a policy call that is ultimately up to the courts, of course (as was the case with the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the attempt to apply it against the states), but I think that the government is free to take a position that heightened scrutiny should be applied, at least where it is not an issue that has been foreclosed by the Supreme Court.  It's a judgment call, but it seems no more or less problematic than the Clinton DOJ's position.    

                            What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

                            by Alec82 on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 11:48:20 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Certainly true (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Alec82

                            Have you considered why that weight of history and legal precedent is missing when it comes to the protection of gay rights under equal protection or other constitutional provisions?

                            Is the deficiency in the underpinnings of the pro-gay rights arguments in favor of constitutional protections?

                            Or perhaps something other than the unbiased application of constitutional principles might explain why judges have historically not been so generous in applying equal protection to claims of sexual orientation discrimination?

                          •  Because of Bowers. (0+ / 0-)

                            With that horrid decision on the books, it was hard to even argue for something more than deferential rational basis analysis.  Romer opened the door by bringing animus claims into the picture, but it's still just open a crack right now.

                          •  Yes and no (0+ / 0-)

                            Do you believe Bowers was correctly decided?

                          •  of course not. (0+ / 0-)

                            But as precedent, it put real brakes on any district or appellate court judge considering a more robust approach to any gay rights issue.  

                          •  Let me clarify a bit (0+ / 0-)

                            Do you think:

                            1. Bowers was a misinterpretation of the relevant constitutional provisions?  OR
                            1. The constitutional interpretation was somehow "wrong" in a moral sense?

                            Or both?

                          •  Both (0+ / 0-)

                            I think the zone of private conduct protected by Griswold/Roe/etc covered the conduct barred by the statute, and the history of selective enforcement (sodomy by straights was barred too, but never prosecuted) made it even worse.

                          •  But during those years... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Alec82

                            ...that Bowers was good law, what were the DOJ's obligations?

                            Put differently: Let's say a defendant were charged during the "Bowers years" with some US Code violation that outlawed sodomy on federal lands or something like that.  The defendant argues the statute is unconstitutional.

                            I assume you believe that the DOJ should have defended the statute, citing Bowers?

                          •  Simpler answer: don't charge him. (0+ / 0-)

                            You can't choose to prosecute someone and then deny that the prosecution is constitutional.  

                          •  Fair point (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Alec82

                            But I think you know where I'm going.  If the government were called upon to defend a law that had Bowers as its clear "constitutional" underpinning, should the DOJ have defended that law, citing Bowers?

                          •  Actually, there's a better example then. (0+ / 0-)

                            Constitutional challenges to DADT pre-Lawrence, and it looks like Bowers wasn't cited under Clinton and not in 2009 either (obviously).  They focused on Congress' ability to regulate the armed forces instead.  

                          •  I must not be asking my question well (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Alec82

                            Let's just keep this really abstract, if possible, so as not to risk getting off the point I am trying to make (no matter how poorly I am doing so): If the most on-point and strongest basis for the constitutionality of some piece of hypothetical anti-gay law that were to have been on the books pre-Lawrence (or pre-Romer, if you'd prefer) was Bowers, should the DOJ have defended the constitutionality of that law, citing Bowers?

                          •  But I think that example answers it. (0+ / 0-)

                            Bowers was certainly helpful precedent in that regard.  They didn't cite it.  I don't know that I'd cite to Korematsu no matter how on-point it was.

                          •  So, if you were working for the DOJ in, say 1993 (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Alec82

                            ...you would never have cited Bowers to support the constitutionality of any piece of legislation that discriminated against gay people?  

                            Maybe a better hypo: if DOMA were on the books in 1993, would you have cited Bowers then?  

                          •  I might have to recuse myself from the case ... (0+ / 0-)

                            ... if it called upon me to defend something vile.  And if it meant resigning from DOJ, so be it.

                            But would DOJ be justified in citing Bowers?  Probably.  One useful tool to play with is a Google site search on OSG.

                          •  Would they be justified in NOT citing Bowers? nt (0+ / 0-)
                          •  here's the problem (0+ / 0-)

                            As noted above, we only even enter this question if the Government feels strongly enough about the statute to enforce it in the first place.  

                            I was imagining a federal law is passed by Congress and signed into law by the President -- perhaps the previous one -- banning consensual homosexual sodomy in the US Capitol and other federal buildings.  But you don't even reach the question of whether to cite Bowers unless you're willing to prosecute as a first matter, and if you do, you obviously believe Bowers is good law.

                          •  Even with the hypothetical involving DOMA? (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Alec82

                            Had DOMA be enacted in 1993, would the DOJ have been justified in defending the constitutionality of DOMA and not citing Bowers?

                            Of course, there's also the possibility of someone having been prosecuted under the hypothetical "no sodomy in the US Capitol" law in 1992 under Bush 1 and the case only making it to the Supreme Court in 1993.

                          •  Sure. (0+ / 0-)

                            Because you can make a positive case for a government preference for heterosexual marriage (procreation, tradition) that doesn't require demonizing gay relationships.

                          •  If your goal were to defend (0+ / 0-)

                            the constitutionality of an anti-gay statute in 1993, you don't think you'd be pulling your punches a bit by not citing Bowers?  Bowers would seem to be rather helpful precedent.  I mean, Bowers would have been a great case to cite for the proposition that "tradition" is a valid constitutional basis withholding rights from gay people.

                            I'm not saying you would HAVE to cite Bowers.  It's just that it would seem the decision not to cite Bowers would not be a legal decision based on what would be most persuasive to the court, but rather an argument that (to some extent) is based upon personal views about Bowers and what it represents.

                          •  I'm still trying to imagine the hypo ... (0+ / 0-)

                            ... of a pre-/Lawrence/ President who believes that Bowers was wrongly decided but that certain anti-gay statutes are okay.  But that's Clinton, and his DOJ didn't cite Bowers in the DADT cases.

                          •  Is it hard to imagine a pre-Lawrence (0+ / 0-)

                            DOMA challenge?  That would seem to be the easiest example.

                            I would think that, in defending DOMA, you would want to argue for a rational basis standard on the EP front, correct?  And you would want to argue that things like "tradition" are reasonable legislative interests.  Bowers would be full of "great" language, wouldn't it?  I need to go back and re-read it, perhaps (or not).

                          •  So, let me see if I get this... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Alec82

                            It is of utmost importance that the DOJ make entirely nonpolitical decisions, based totally on binding precedent, to defend lawfully enacted congressional legislation.

                            UNLESS, of course, there is entirely clear and binding Supreme Court precedent, in which case, the DOJ is free to do whatever it wants.

                          •  No. (0+ / 0-)

                            If there's clear SCOTUS precedent that the act is unconstitutional, it cannot defend it.

                          •  Then I don't see... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            dis1010

                            ...how you can go along with Dickerson.  The statute itself hadn't been challenged, and there was enough wiggle room to allow them to argue that the remedy itself could be abrogated by federal legislation.  And even the DOJ conceded that there was support for that position.  They simply chose a different position.

                            What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

                            by Alec82 on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 11:58:54 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I don't have an answer to that question yet (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Alec82

                            It just doesn't seem clear to me that anyone else has a bright line rule either.  Yet people seem to argue that such a bright line rule exists.

                          •  And *that's* my problem (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Adam B, dis1010, bruh1

                            There's no bright line rule, but would-be formalists are arguing that there is, that it's clear and that it forecloses the possibility of the administration taking any other position.  Suddenly, you oppose the rule of law if you take a position contrary to their own (and Adam, I'm not talking about your arguments, you've been respectful).

                            There were similar arguments over the signing statements....then and now.

                            What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

                            by Alec82 on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 12:11:04 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Let's try to build one out. I'm game. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Alec82

                            It would have to include a considered administration policy determination that a different constitutional test should be employed to be more protective of individual rights -- DOMA and Metro Broadcasting both.  

                          •  With respect to EP scrutiny... (0+ / 0-)

                            ...I think the administration would need to consider the factors used by the Court to establish heightened scrutiny in previous cases, existing case law and scholarship (legal, medical, social, scientific), developments in federal and state case law and statutes and....empathy. :)

                            The argument could be foreclosed if there was an existing Supreme Court case upholding the constitutionality of the challenged statute on the grounds advanced in the present litigation.  

                            What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

                            by Alec82 on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 12:35:44 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  take it to other areas of law (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Alec82

                            Could a more libertarian administration sign a brief seeking to invalidate the contribution limits of the Federal Election Campaign Act (upheld in Buckley v. Valeo, McConnell)?

                          •  Yes (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            bruh1

                            As long as it wasn't foreclosed by an existing Supreme Court case upholding the constitutionality of the challenged statute on the precise grounds used in the current litigation.  

                            That seems to be sufficient wiggle room to allow for an executive branch that can advance constitutional protections as part of its agenda.  It isn't like we're arguing that they themselves can invalidate the law.  

                            For example, if there was an as applied substantive due process challenge, or a commerce clause challenge to the Partial Birth Abortion Act, this administration would not be prohibited from arguing against its constitutionality.

                            What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

                            by Alec82 on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 01:22:04 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  It would be in that case. (0+ / 0-)

                            Such First Amendment challenges failed in 1971, though there are at least four Justices who've indicated a willingness to consider them now (certainly Thomas, Scalia and Alito; maybe Kennedy).  

                            A more pertinent example: next Term, they'll grant cert on one of the cases as to whether the 2d Amendment applies to the states, and I'm sure they'll CVSG.  Can the Government call for the Slaughterhouse Cases and the like to be overturned so that the privileges or immunities clause can have restored meaning?

                          •  Not if there's a Supreme Court case... (0+ / 0-)

                            ...that applies to the challenged act or policy, using the same rationale advanced by the current litigation.  

                            It's actually quite broad.  The challenged statute is unlikely to be the same, for example, as the statutes in prior litigation, the rationales advanced are likely to be different, and much of the time there won't be a Supreme Court case directly on point.  

                            What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

                            by Alec82 on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 01:28:38 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  But start with that last notion (0+ / 0-)

                            There are at least three Supreme Court precedents directly on point from the late-19th Century holding that the 2d Amendment does not apply as to state and local regulation.  It doesn't matter what the regulation in question is; the 2d Amendment simply doesn't apply.  The 2d and 7th Circuits have said they're powerless to hold otherwise; only SCOTUS can.  Can the US Government now call for those precedents to be overturned?

                            But back to the campaign finance case: there is precedent on point.  At least 3-4 Justices have stated they believe it might be wrong -- and who knows, so might Sotomayor.  Is the Government still bound to defend the statute?  [I'd also look at legal restrictions on corporate contributions in this light, given revived caselaw on the rights of commercial speech.]

                          •  Is the government bound? (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Alec82

                            I have no idea.  Should it be bound?  I don't see why it should.  I'd rather have someone who believed the relevant line of constitutional jurisprudence underpinning the law take on the role of defending it, rather than forcing an administration into doing so.  Again, maybe that's unworkable.

                            I would have a problem if statutes were left defenseless.  And if the DOJ is the only entity that can take on that role, in all cases, then so be it.

                          •  Perhaps it's the reverse (0+ / 0-)

                            What if it's DOJ's obligation to defend (almost) no matter what -- as the AG is the Attorney General of the United States, and not just the President -- but the Office of White House Counsel was freer to present the "this is what our administration thinks the law should be" brief?

                          •  Interesting (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Alec82

                            If that had been the custom and that had happened here, I imagine much of the discussion over the last few days would not have taken place.

                          •  Obviously developments in case law... (0+ / 0-)

                            ...would be an important policy consideration.  We've already abandoned the idea of a bright line rule.  

                            The DOJ still exists as an advocate.  Acting in that capacity, it has the discretion to to advocate an alteration in the state of constitutional law. There's no reasonable argument it doesn't have the power to do so.  

                            But I find your reasoning a bit odd, because certainly the 9th Circuit was out of bounds when it decided that the second amendment did apply to state and local regulations.  Because, by your estimation, there was a case on point and subsequent developments in the case law were irrelevant.  It's unclear why the DOJ, which does make policy determinations in its role as both an advocate of the administration's policy and as a defender of federal statutes, couldn't make a judgment call, particularly since it doesn't have the power to actually invalidate the statute.  

                            Dis1010's point is also applicable here.  Others can defend the statute, if the administration does not believe it is constitutional.  And the court's retain the power to independently evaluate the constitutionality of a statute, in any event.  

                            What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

                            by Alec82 on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 01:46:45 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  But an advocate for whom? (0+ / 0-)

                            The DOJ still exists as an advocate.  Acting in that capacity, it has the discretion to to advocate an alteration in the state of constitutional law. There's no reasonable argument it doesn't have the power to do so.  

                            Who's the client, exactly?  I think that's one of those first-order questions we need to answer.

                            [And I think the 9th Circuit was wrong, but it's not exactly the first time.]

                          •  For the constitution, the American people.... (0+ / 0-)

                            ....and "justice."  

                            I can see that you want a bright line rule, but there isn't one.  The administration is called upon to make independent constitutional judgments all the time; so is Congress.  There often isn't a Supreme Court case directly on point.  

                            There is no obligation that they defend this statute, Adam.  History and tradition are not sufficient.  They're not even sufficient to justify anti-gay animus.  

                            And I'll be blunt: You're arguing this in the context of a group that's been used as a scapegoat for the last four decades, has watched minimal gains eroded by what is in any fair analysis a national campaign to deprive them of any constitutional protections, and in the context of what we all know is an increasingly politicized federal judiciary that uses formalism to justify inequitable rulings.  In that context, in the absence of the bright line rule you desire, I'm going to argue for the little guy, Adam.  And it's a shame that for the past few decades we've been treated to administrations and judges who won't do the same.  

                            What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

                            by Alec82 on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 02:07:38 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  It's the worst context for this debate (0+ / 0-)

                            Because of America's sorry history with regards to gay rights as well as this President's, starting with McClurkin and Warren.  It'd be great to debate DOJ's obligations in more of a vacuum, but we can't.

                            All I'm asking for here is a counter-rule, or at least a set of principles: when is DOJ permitted to argue against the constitutionality of a federal statute?  I think I've made my openness to considering this clear, but I don't want to open the barn door entirely for Jeb Bush's DOJ.

                          •  Well, let me throw a potential wrinkle in here (0+ / 0-)

                            We have a situation here that is (arguably) distinct from, say, the hypo of an administration seeking to reverse Buckley v. Valeo.  As you said above, Bowers hampered the ability of the lower courts to develop gay rights jurisprudence.  Bowers was wrongly decided.  It's not only that we think so.  We have the agreement of the Supreme Court.  

                            So, the constitutional jurisprudence is not where it should be on gay rights.  Not in a moral sense.  In a legal sense.  Courts were operating under a wrong set of rules during at least the period from 1986 (Bowers) through 2003 (Lawrence).  

                            So, here are some questions:

                            1. Do we rely on such a flawed constitutional jurisprudence to defend DOMA?
                            1. Does the existence of a foundational change in constitutional jurisprudence (such as the overruling of important, but not necessarily exactly on point precedent) provide a justification for the DOJ to exercise discretion not to defend a statute?
                          •  And here's where you may have flipped me. (0+ / 0-)

                            Post-/Lawrence/, is it still proper for the government to argue that the public policy exceptions previously recognized for underaged marriage and consanguinity also might encompass same-sex marriage?  I mean, yes there can be line-drawing between "we don't disapprove of gay sex" but "we can disapprove of gay marriage," but that's an awfully thin line analytically -- though one which surveys suggest reflect the views of the American People.

                          •  Can you defend DOMA, substantively (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Alec82

                            and not make the argument?  I would have a hard time imagining it.  And even if you COULD, that would seem to be a less than zealous defense of DOMA.

                            The problem here is that if you minimize Lawrence and Romer (which is part of what the DOJ is attempting to do), what gay rights jurisprudence do you have left?  You have stunted jurisprudence based on bad law.  Again, not bad law because I don't like it.  Bad law because the Supreme Court says so.

                            Hey, let's be charitable.  Maybe Congress was merely operating under faulty information when DOMA was passed, because they reasonably believed Bowers was good law.  And, if only Congress knew that Bowers was a mistake, I'm sure they NEVER would have enacted DOMA.  Right?  Right?

                          •  There's the bizarro counter-argument left (0+ / 0-)

                            That DOMA is actually a pro-gay marriage statute.  Because it allows other states to protect themselves from "spillover" effects, it provides greater confidence for those states that do want to consider allowing gay marriages to proceed.

                          •  Does that do the job? (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Alec82

                            Maybe for the FF&C section, but what about the denial of federal benefits of marriage?

                          •  You're left with the fiscal argument. (0+ / 0-)

                            "Preserve scarce government resources," and maybe some kind of federal interest in uniform laws?

                          •  Ok then. (0+ / 0-)

                            And if the DOJ submitted a brief making those narrow lines of arguments.  Would that have been justifiable?  Or, more to the point, would such a defense of DOMA comport with whatever principles underpin our desire to have validly enacted statutes defended by the DOJ?

                          •  Sure it would (0+ / 0-)

                            It's defending the statute along the remaining plausible grounds.  If the Court decides they're too thin, so be it.

                          •  No. (0+ / 0-)

                            You are certainly helping me to understand/formulate something approaching a thought out opinion on these issues.  So, thank you.  I actually think it would be helpful for a number of other commenters to read this entire exchange.

                          •  few are interested in the institutional DOJ issue (0+ / 0-)

                            Most are just pissed about the brief, and any argument that it had to be filed is inherently wrong, and they want to engage this on the politics end.  It's like the whole "no theory of constitutional interpretation that gets Brown wrong can be right" thing.

                          •  I understand why people are pissed at the brief (0+ / 0-)

                            I'm pissed at the brief.  No matter how justifiable the decision was to file it or how "correct" some of the arguments may be, I'm still pissed.

                            It's sad that a Democratic administration (or any administration, for that matter) felt that it had to file that brief to protect the rule of law.  And it's sad that there is as strong a constitutional basis as there is to support the DOJ's arguments.  

                            The problem for me is that when people do not have an understanding of what it is that they are really upset about, but rather indiscriminately argue that they are upset about everything, it becomes much more difficult to communicate to supporters and non-supporters alike: 1) what our issues are; and 2) how important they are.

                          •  That's the problem (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Alec82

                            I think it will be very difficult for us to come up with a bright line test that would prevent an administration from doing what you suggest.

                            Then again, is that a bad thing?

                            Perhaps we're going down the wrong path, then.  Rather than forcing an administration to defend the constitutionality of laws that it believes are unconstitutional (despite precedent that would allow the administration to defend the law), maybe we would all be better served if there were an infrastructure in place that would allow the DOJ to "recuse" itself and have some independent attorneys defend the statute?

                            Maybe this is unworkable, but there are some benefits I can see to such a policy.  For example, if the administration does not believe in a statute's constitutionality, maybe they won't actually turn out to be the best advocates for the statute.  We could avoid administrations that would, maybe unwittingly, do a half-assed job defending a statute.

          •  Anything is possible. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dirkster42, Clarknt67

            I discount Obama's position because he's no longer a lawyer. He's a politician. I take DOJ's opinion with a shaker of salt. The DOJ has a history of getting confused about its purpose.  Once you get outside the beltway and away from lawyers involved in politics, then it's time to ask for a show of hands.

        •  It would be nice to keep it in mind. (0+ / 0-)

          I'm not sure about your strategy of ignoring the constitution in order to make it better.  Usually that sort of strategy gets stuck at "ignoring" and never gets to the "better" part, e.g., the last presdent who used the DOJ as a political tool.

          "Newt's all for new ideas. He doesn't HAVE any. He's just FOR them."--Bob Dole.

          by Inland on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 08:32:59 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Perhaps they would prefer to do it without (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        teachme2night

        turning this into a States Rights case that they would lose on appeal, and then do more harm than good by giving gay marriage opponents something they would play off as a win in the courts?

      •  That's not the province of courts but politics. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        burrow owl, Escamillo

        They are political questions, that is, to a) convince people to not feel the ick and b) to convince them that feeling the ick itself is no basis for a public policy and c) what they say are reasons are just cover for feelings of ick.

        Instead, rachel et al. are justifying knee jerk, this isn't the way we do it in MY state as enough, implicitly.

        "Newt's all for new ideas. He doesn't HAVE any. He's just FOR them."--Bob Dole.

        by Inland on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 08:27:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  OK. So could we get an ETA .. (11+ / 0-)

          ...for when the NON-lawyers in the Obama administration will "make the case for gay marriage that mere uncomfort with the unusual or the different, the ick factor, isn't good enough to deny same sex marriage in your state or refuse to recognize it in another state"?

          Some people would be better off not reading diaries they comment on, since they already have all the answers.

          by Meteor Blades on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 08:43:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Back to my grand theme. (0+ / 0-)

            Showing is better than saying anything anyting about ick.  

            And that brings me back to the key IMO: the reason why same sex marriage has been gaining acceptance is that people see same sex married people and get used to it.  The world doesn't end.  It's not icky once you get to know them.  All that stuff. It works.

            "Newt's all for new ideas. He doesn't HAVE any. He's just FOR them."--Bob Dole.

            by Inland on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 08:53:37 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm really trying not to be a dick about this ... (12+ / 0-)

              ...but you're turning me in circles here. First, you say, as others have, that the legal argument has to follow certain ground rules, so the political argument is what really matters, and when I arguendo agree, you turn me again and say it's mostly personal.

              So, let me get this straight, no pun intended. Obama can really do nothing about DOMA until everybody in the country has been to a gay wedding, which we can't have until the law changes?

              OK. One more turn around the floor. How about Obama makes a big speech on the 4th of July about the value of the American family and he seats my friends Dawn and Julie and their two adopted kids, Emmy, 11 and Corey, 13, in the front row? And how about he singles them out and says what a pity it is that this tight-knit, hard-working family is considered icky in America, and how about he promises before his terms of office are over to do everything he can to end the legal discrimination against this and other families in America like it?

              How would that be for "showing"?  

              Some people would be better off not reading diaries they comment on, since they already have all the answers.

              by Meteor Blades on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 09:25:33 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well, not quite: (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                this is only a test
                1.  One of those federalism questions is "who decides?"  In the cases cited in the brief, the answer was, one state decides for itself when to respect the marriages of the other state (at least if it's a central enough "public policy", but putting that aside for simplicity)  

                The position that wins gay marriage in the court is a) The federal and it's already been decided in the fourteenth amendment, or b) each state can decide for all other states under the Full Faith and Credit.

                Loving was A.  I'm skeptical that any federal court is going to say the fourteenth amendment strikes down laws for opposite marriage only.  I don't need to go into a whole lot of legal reasons; it got a hostile reception in the ninth circuit on the SF marriages and it was only 2003 that the USSC voted six to three to strike down sodomy laws involving consenting individuals in the privacy of their own homes.  If it happens, it happens.  But I'm assuming it won't.

                The attack on DOMA is sliding into B, for practical purposes.   The full faith and credit argument presupposes that the second state DOES NOT LIKE the laws of the first state.  The only question is, what to do about that.   Rachel doesn't do any favors by hyperventalating over how disgusting those marriages from OTHER states are.  It assumes  validity of putting her own value system ahead of that of the second state just because.  

                1.  What is NOT diving into the weeds of constituional law is that every state can decide for itself whether or not to have gay marriage.  Or that DOMA can be repealed, or that DADT can be repealed.  The focus on the brief is certainly wrong, even if you disagree and think there's a snowball's chance in hell of the court coming out the other way.
                1.  This isn't a bad idea:

                How about Obama makes a big speech on the 4th of July about the value of the American family and he seats my friends Dawn and Julie and their two adopted kids, Emmy, 11 and Corey, 13, in the front row? And how about he singles them out and says what a pity it is that this tight-knit, hard-working family is considered icky in America, and how about he promises before his terms of office are over to do everything he can to end the legal discrimination against this and other families in America like it?

                Although like all Obama's speeches, it'll sound better when he and his team draft it.

                I just have this caution: is it then more about the kids or about Obama?  People like kids.  Not everyone likes Obama.  It shouldn't be about him.

                "Newt's all for new ideas. He doesn't HAVE any. He's just FOR them."--Bob Dole.

                by Inland on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 09:56:44 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  They already did the "showing" @ this year's egg (0+ / 0-)

                ... roll at Easter time on the White House lawn.

                Maybe that's it until Thanksgiving.

                "Toads of Glory, slugs of joy... as he trotted down the path before a dragon ate him"-Alex Hall/ Stop McClintock

                by AmericanRiverCanyon on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 12:40:28 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  Unfortunately... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Predictor

        Obama's stated position is that marriage is a matter to be left to each state.  The argument against this won't come from Obama.  We need to convince him to change his mind here.

        Hari Seldon 2012 -8.25, -6.25

        by smellybeast on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 08:58:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  He will not change his mind. (7+ / 0-)

          He's with the Republicans and the blue dogs on this, and that's where he is going to stay.

          Anyone who really thinks that marriage is a matter to be left to each state, should be actively working to overturn DOMA, which is a federal law about marriage. This argument is disgenuous at best.

          •  Right (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Free Spirit, Predictor

            Anyone who really thinks that marriage is a matter to be left to each state, should be actively working to overturn DOMA, which is a federal law about marriage. This argument is disgenuous at best.

            So let's tell him that.  You might be right that he won't change his mind but you might also be wrong.  He's apparently changed his mind about this before.  We need to hit this argument head on.

            Hari Seldon 2012 -8.25, -6.25

            by smellybeast on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 09:26:56 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Binary polarization is not helpful (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Nova Land

            He's with the Republicans and the blue dogs on this, and that's where he is going to stay.

            That's really dumb, no other word to use.

            Let me preface the following by stating my unequivocal support for same sex marriage, and that DOMA should be overturned.

            That said,

            A) Obama believes that, as a practical matter, civil unions between people of the same sex, and marriages between people of different sexes, should be completely equal under the law. That extends to everything from taxation to visitation rights. He has this religious thing about using the term "marriage", but he does NOT support unequal rights in practice.

            B) Many Republicans, and some "blue dogs", support same sex marriage

            C) The Reactionary, Ultra-Right Republican leadership not only opposes same sex "marriage" - they oppose equal rights under the law to same sex couples.

            To equate Obama with those people in #C - which is clearly your intent is both dishonest and unhelpful.

            Last point: To say "he will not change his mind", and "that's where he is going to stay", is to deny the history of this thoughtful intellectual, whose position on a variety of issues has, in fact, changed dramatically over time - nearly always in response to thoughtful, intellectual arguments, not hostile, dismissive attacks.

            He is also a political pragmatist, and can be convinced to change policies based on prevailing public sentiment or particularly intense imperatives.

            We should learn from the interview this diary highlights - neither Maddow nor Dean demonized Obama, nor let him off the hook.

            They made rational, impassioned arguments (and yes, those are not contradictions, much as the anti-intellectual anti-science crowd likes to pretend that logic is the enemy of passion), and they presented a persuasive case.

            That case is not being debated here, and it should be debated on its merits.

            Blanket statements like yours are completely unhelpful, if for no other reason than, if we were to accept it at face value, there would be no further reason to agitate, no reason to put pressure on the Obama administration, no reason to ever bother to try.

            Please don't do there. Try to remain a constructive force in this conversation.

            One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

            by RandomActsOfReason on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 12:57:10 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  As to your point A, (0+ / 0-)

              why does his religion get to trump mine?

              Despite believing that different terminology can result in the same rights and respect, Vermont (IIRC I think it was Vermont that started with civil unions) studied the issue and found --surprise!! -- terminology DOES make a difference in how people look at you and how you're treated.

              This country has done the "separate but equal" charade in the past and we learned (or some of us did) that separate is NEVER EQUAL, no matter how much we want to believe that.  

              Like matter and anti-matter, Republicans and the truth seem unable to occupy the same space.

              by dykester on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 01:22:36 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Straw man (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Nova Land

                why does his religion get to trump mine?

                It doesn't. I disagree with him. If you read at all carefully, I made that point very explicitly and clearly.

                I do not defend his reasoning, nor the way he has conducted his policy on this issue.

                My comment was in response to a brief comment preceding it. Did you read that comment, so that mine would have some context?

                I even quoted the relevant parts of the comment I was responding to, in order to make that clear.

                Here it is again:


                He will not change his mind.

                He's with the Republicans and the blue dogs on this, and that's where he is going to stay.

                My entire comment addressed that statement.

                I did not make any of the arguments you seem to feel you need to rebut.

                Which further reinforces my argument elsewhere, that we need to make sure we don't abandon reason and start eating our own in an orgy of self-righteous rage, any time "our" issue comes up. People do this no matter what the issue discussed - same sex rights, gun rights, abortion rights, torture investigations - there are always people eager to scream at everyone else that they are traitors, appeasers, sell-outs, etc.

                All that does is perpetuate the status quo.

                Real opponents of gay rights can only sit back and laugh when those of us who share the same goal of total equality, shot each other up because we have a difference of opinion on the most effective way to get there.

                Obama is not Bush, Democrats are not Republicans, there is a difference.

                Obama is also not the Messiah, and electing him did not automatically change everything.

                We're fighting for the same things. Let's stop fighting each other.

                One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

                by RandomActsOfReason on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 01:39:45 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Excellent point: (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Clarknt67

                terminology DOES make a difference in how people look at you and how you're treated.

                My husband just brought up this same point. Even if Obama wants us to have legal equality (and I'll believe that when I see it) he is adamant that we must not have cultural equality.

                He can call it religious and mumble nonsense about "having God in the mix" precluding us from marriage, but the point is to codify our cultural inferiority.

            •  Stop attacking everybody you disagree with. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Clarknt67

              Dykster is far from dumb. That was uncalled for.

              You are writing absurdities and claiming they are what she thinks. You're not a mindreader and your assertion is dishonest.

        •  WRONG (0+ / 0-)

          Obama's stated opinion during the campaign was that DOMA was an unnecessary and "abhorrent" law that he wanted completely repealed.  He used this BS to differentiate himself from Clinton in the primaries.

          Hope. Change. Lies...

          by rf7777 on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 11:38:59 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Interesting analysis but in my experience the (8+ / 0-)

      larger issue here is that it makes political sense to apply calibrated pressure applied to move the administration in the right direction.  I think Rachel's drumbeat will have a cumulative effect even if the particulars don't always make perfect tactical sense.

      No quarter. No surrender.

      by hegemony57 on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 08:20:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't think one could make the argument. (0+ / 0-)

      What SHOULD be done...is to make the case for gay marriage that mere uncomfort...isn't good enough to deny same sex marriage in your state or refuse to recognize it in another state.  

      It's good enough as a matter of constitutional law.  Provided the public policy picked by the state is constitutional, then the state can refuse to recognize judgments from other states that are in conflict with that public policy.

      We are building a team that is continuously being built. - Sarah Palin

      by burrow owl on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 08:36:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Is or is not good enough? (0+ / 0-)

        Ick isn't good enough, but a) they usually don't call it ick and b) Rachel should be distinguishing those cases instead of making it seem that her  knee jerk reactions of disgust are ok and deserving of constitutional recognition while the knee jerk reactions of someone in TN are not.

        "Newt's all for new ideas. He doesn't HAVE any. He's just FOR them."--Bob Dole.

        by Inland on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 08:44:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Incest aside (13+ / 0-)

      There were so many other offensive aspects to the brief. To me that issue is almost a red herring.   The brief itself was a rehash of every old Bush argument, plus a brand new one.  Now that is a yuck

      These arguments, if upheld in the courts could do damage to gay cases going forward for years.

    •  It strikes me that this case is all about the (4+ / 0-)

      "ick" factor for a reason.

      DOMA needs to be vigorously defended by the DoJ, apparently.  They can't go into a case half-hearted.

      DOMA is entirely based upon bias and prejudice.  It's original canard of supporting "traditional marriage" ignored that marriage participation is not quite so standardized, when you take a look in even non-ancient history, across religions or beyond nearby borders.  It's a weak argument.  And, it merely seeks to hide the bias argument.

      How do you vigorously defend a bias argument?  With bias, of course.

      There's not logical manner of defending DOMA aside from worries of insurance or tax imbalances.  But, even those are no support for denying equal opportunities.  So, back to bias.

      Which includes all the ugly, "icky" shite that led to DOMA eventually being signed.  It's full of incest, man-on-dog, etc. rationale.  That is the entire reason DOMA exists!  Nothing but ridiculous, overblown and irrational/insulting/degrading biases and fears.  By people who can't see beyond them.

      I'm not sure how else you defend DOMA in court, really.

      And, I hope this case shows the Court just how flimsy and irrational DOMA actually is - leading to the Holder DoJ being on the losing end of this legal battle for a legacy precedent we'd like to see die.  Again.

      "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

      by wader on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 09:06:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  But whether or not the marriages were legal (5+ / 0-)

      in some areas doesn't matter... because the marriages were incestuous and pedophilia in nature.

      As for making a case for gay marriage:

      "Marriage is one of the 'basic civil rights of man,' fundamental to our very existence and survival..." - Loving v Virginia

      The question is not whether gay marriage is weird or unusual or makes some people uncomfortable. The question is whether or not two consenting (gay) adults are people and deserve one of the basic civil rights of man.

      AAC: Support local arts

      by jamesia on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 09:24:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Actually.... (0+ / 0-)

      ...modern studies indicate that inbreeding is a lot less harmless than we assumed.

      There's something attractive about invincible ignorance... for the first 5 seconds.

      by MNPundit on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 09:54:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I am glad at least one prominent... (48+ / 0-)

    ...Democrat is willing to say what Dean is saying about the administration's stance in this matter.
    Huzzah! Why there aren't 50 more is hard to stomach, but we takes what we can gets.

    I will never ever understand Dr. Dean's admiration for Dick Cheney, however.

    Some people would be better off not reading diaries they comment on, since they already have all the answers.

    by Meteor Blades on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 08:12:17 AM PDT

  •  Damn, maybe people will finally get a clue (17+ / 2-)
    as to the real nature of our Wonder President. He is NOT a liberal, he is NOT a progressive, he is NOT the great defender of the weak and picked-upon, he is NOT any of the things that he campaigned on. Why were people so damn gullible? Was it the 'hope' thing? Was it the CHANGE YOU CAN BELIEIVE IN malarkey? Was it the Black Cool crap? What the hell was it?

    He turned on the GLBT community the first chance he got. He turned on the anti-war crowd. He turned on the unions. He turned on outsourcing. The latest?

    Source: MSNBC

    Obama blocks list of visitors to White House
    Taking Bush's position, administration denies msnbc.com request for logs

    By Bill Dedman

    The Obama administration is fighting to block access to names of visitors to the White House, taking up the Bush administration argument that a president doesn't have to reveal who comes calling to influence policy decisions.

    Despite President Barack Obama's pledge to introduce a new era of transparency to Washington, and despite two rulings by a federal judge that the records are public, the Secret Service has denied msnbc.com's request for the names of all White House visitors from Jan. 20 to the present. It also denied a narrower request by the nonpartisan watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, which sought logs of visits by executives of coal companies.

    CREW says it will file a lawsuit Tuesday against the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the Secret Service.

    Read more: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/... /

    People, wake up. The guy was the biggest opportunist on the planet. He made one fantastic speech at the Democratic Convention and right away people declared him White House material. A speech folks. Not any great legislation, not any great anything. A FRIGGING SPEECH. I think I do recall him saying he wouldn't run back then. But like pretty much everything that comes from this guy, he did a 180.

    Why do you people trust him? He's had the White House for five months you say? Well, he's used that time well. He's broken every promise he made.

    Just like I knew he would.

    •  i'm starting to think he's a con man myself (6+ / 0-)
    •  Holy cow! (7+ / 0-)

      I had no idea.

      "A guarantee of equality that is subject to exceptions made by a majority is no guarantee at all." San Francisco Chief Deputy City Attorney, Therese Stewart

      by DMiller on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 08:25:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  From the article (13+ / 0-)

      The Obama administration is arguing that the White House visitor logs are presidential records — not Secret Service agency records, which would be subject to the Freedom of Information Act. The administration ought to be able to hold secret meetings in the White House, "such as an elected official interviewing for an administration position or an ambassador coming for a discussion on issues that would affect international negotiations," said Obama spokesman Ben LaBolt.

       [emphasis added.]

      Link

      So much for transparency.

      "A guarantee of equality that is subject to exceptions made by a majority is no guarantee at all." San Francisco Chief Deputy City Attorney, Therese Stewart

      by DMiller on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 08:28:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  From CREW's complaint: (10+ / 0-)
      1. CREW is harmed by DHS’s failure to process CREW’s FOIA request on an expedited

      basis, because that failure hampers CREW’s ability to satisfy the compelling public need for full,
      accurate and current information about the influence that executives of the 10 largest coal production companies within the United States have had, or attempted to have, on the president
      and his administration in formulating the nation’s energy policy
      . Absent this critical information, CREW cannot advance its mission of educating the public to ensure that the public
      continues to have a vital voice in government.

      link warning, pdf

      Same old, same old.

      Shit.

      "A guarantee of equality that is subject to exceptions made by a majority is no guarantee at all." San Francisco Chief Deputy City Attorney, Therese Stewart

      by DMiller on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 08:32:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  And then there are the PUMA's who exploit (12+ / 0-)

      this genuine policy grievance to come here and defecate.

      "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

      by Geekesque on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 08:35:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What a ridiculous comment (8+ / 0-)

      Was it the CHANGE YOU CAN BELIEIVE IN malarkey? Was it the Black Cool crap?

      LMAO.

      "My favorite is Greta Van Susteren." -- Kirsten Gillibrand, a FauxNews Progressive???

      by GN1927 on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 08:38:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Giggle all you want. Doesn't change the fact (2+ / 3-)
        Recommended by:
        Larry Bailey, Predictor
        Hidden by:
        smartdemmg, Into The Stars, ETF
        that he's a liar. He outright lied about everything to the very people he knew he needed to win the election. It worked. But now, those still with stars in their eyes and bats in their belfries are more than willing to accept his duplicity, and beg for more. What was totally unacceptable coming from the last administration is now perfectly all right. Iraq, Afganistan, GLBTs being discriminated against by being compared to pedophiles and those commit incest, emptying the treasury to the predators amongnst us and telling those in the most need tough shit, we can't afford you. And all this phoney baloney about him being a champion for single-payer health care. NO HE IS NOT! He has no intention of dumping the bastards that have rigged the American healthcare/insurance system. He just keeps finding new and novel ways of ensuring they end up with all the money, that they have the best seats at the table. Exactly like his buddy Timmeh did for the Banksters.

        And if you're getting your shit all in an uproar about the Black Cool remark, tough. I was just posting the tired old cliches that were used in t that campaign of his. I didn't use it firstm I didn't make it up. Just like the now hilarious 'change' bull.

        I wish I was made of sterner stuff, I wish I had grown up differently so that I could go along with this crap. I guess it's too damn bad I think that all American's should have access to healthcare without losing everything they have. I guess it's just my bad luck that I think that the people who were hurt the worst by the gangsters of Wall Street should have been given some help, bailed out so to speak, rather than the criminals that caused this mess. But considering how much money Obama has gotten from these people in the past, I guess I had my head up my ass. Why help the victims when the victimizers can pad your nest? Can shovel millions your way. And can guarantee you quite the cushy living after you leave the White House.

        How many tent cities have been shut down? Have the foreclosures stopped? Ever see this guy do much for the elderly victims of all this criminal behavior? He's gonna create jobs? When? Where? What jobs? Construction? Road building? What? (It sure ain't jobs in the tech fields.)

        Five months isn't long enough to fix all the country's problems, true. Five minutes is enough to show that he's headed in the wrong direction. That he absolutely doesn't give a damn about what he promised.

        •  Can't help yourself, can you? (11+ / 0-)

          And if you're getting your shit all in an uproar about the Black Cool remark, tough

          Your racism is now doubly apparent.

          I'm all for legit criticisms of Obama, and have plenty myself.    But your compulsive, bitter racism destroys your credibility.  

          Fox "News" = Republican PRAVDA.

          by chumley on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 09:22:16 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Racism? Bwahahahahahaha!!! (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Larry Bailey, creekobear, Predictor
            You're denying the attraction of the first black candidate running for president? You're denying that wasn't part of the attraction? You're calling me a racist because I used words right off the cover of GQ? I had NO problem with the color of the man's skin.

            I grew up at 3**8 Parker Street in the Pleasantview (I must say, it was not) Housing projects. They are tearing them down now because of how gang/drug/criminal infested they are. Back when I was growing up, that neighborhood was known for being one surefire place to get an ass-kicking if someone didn't like the look on your face or the tone in your voice. Now, they they just kill your ass. So if you think weak and whiney accusations of 'racist' will work with me, then you're as ignorant as your lame posts. I would be willing to bet you've never spent five minutes in the projects, around the crime and the poverty and the predators. That's why you're too stupid to know that this has nothing to do with color. Because liars and cheats and schemers and scammers come in ALL colors, shapes, and sizes. Some are good at it, some are bad. But this guy just sets the watermark by which all schemers and scammers can be judged. Very very few will ever make it has high as he did.

            So far, one accusation of being a PUMA, another for being a racist. Good work guys. Too bad that's all you got. People with the hero worship blinders on are useless to this country. The man has lied to us all. Over and over and over and over. That's my objection. That's why I'm pissed off about spending all those evenings and weekends at the phone bank and walking through South Omaha, canvassing for Obama campaign out of the 27th & M Street location. All that time working to put a guy in office who's got no problem with telecom spying, letting the biggest criminal cabal in this country's history skate under the excuse we need to 'move on'. And I am so damn sick of hearing 'well then, you'd be happy about a McCain/Palin administration then'. Another favorite retort of the lame and misguided. NO, what I would make me happy is if we had the presidency that we were promised. The return to the rule of the Constitution and the laws of this country. But what did we get? A guy who's going to keep all the disgusting, illegal, and absolutely immoral policies of the last administration. Oh hell, he'll throw people a bone every now and then so the weak minded and the hero worshippers will stay in line, but anyone with two functioning brain cells has got to be wondering what happened to that guy in the debates.

        •  i'm glad you care so deeply about moral purity (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          GN1927, ETF

          maybe you can raise billions of dollars and influence our country to move in a progressive direction without any compromises?

        •  A bit over the top in terms of rage, but... (0+ / 0-)

          ...understandable given the topic; and tipped both to offset the assholery of the HR'r and to reward the good rage. We used to have a lot more of it at Daily Kos when we weren't so invested.

          Thank you, Dr. Tiller, for your commitment. Peace to the Tiller Family.

          by Larry Bailey on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 03:14:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yeah, I know. I've been a reader for a long (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Larry Bailey, Ezekial 23 20
            time. Too bad that people are so damn eager to throw away their civil and Constitutional rights because of hero worship. It's our duty to fight for what is right. My poor kids and their poor kids are going to grow up under a government that operates on secrecy and stealth, lies and obsfucations.

            Damn, makes me sorry I ever had kids. I wish I could do better for them. I guess that they'll just have to fight and find their own way.

            •  New boss = old and all that, you know. (0+ / 0-)

              I still have some hope for what BO might try to accomplish, but the evidence so far is not very encouraging. But, with time, who knows?

              Thank you, Dr. Tiller, for your commitment. Peace to the Tiller Family.

              by Larry Bailey on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 03:40:28 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  It's way beyond ridiculous (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Yoshimi, GN1927

        But let them have their outrage. As much as they think Obama is a con-artist, their own words reveal their true selves as well.

    •  Your credibility destroyed immediately (13+ / 1-)

      with this nonsense:

      Was it the CHANGE YOU CAN BELIEIVE IN malarkey? Was it the Black Cool crap? What the hell was it?

      I have a lot of problems with Obama's handling of all sorts of issues: healthcare, the economy, DOMA, etc.

      But yours are the words of a bitter racist.  Fuck off.

      Fox "News" = Republican PRAVDA.

      by chumley on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 08:46:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I see a lot of attacks... (9+ / 0-)

        ..on the credibility of the poster, but not so many on the substance of the post.

        What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

        by Alec82 on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 08:56:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I made very clear what my problem is. (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Yoshimi, Alec82, pinkbunny, m00finsan

          It's fine to disagree with Obama vehemently.  I do on healthcare.

          And you can even voice your disgust with the adminstration so far.  I have no problem with that, even if others do.  

          "Black cool crap?"   Racist bullshit.  

          You didn't address MY substance on that.

          Fox "News" = Republican PRAVDA.

          by chumley on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 09:00:22 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Oh yeah, lets disregard that (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pinkbunny, Escamillo

          racist statement and read the well reasoned argument in the next paragraph.

          This smells of the fan club that excused every one of Budhy's offensive statements "because he wrote well."

          •  Actually this smells of Obama apologists (5+ / 0-)

            And little more.  

            What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

            by Alec82 on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 09:39:38 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You're acting as an apologist for that racism (0+ / 0-)

              I thought racism was wrong or is it anything perceived to be anti-gay rights? People are saying their rights aren't being defended, respected so that opens the door for stupid and racist comments? I suppose being an Obama apologist is worse than being someone who condones racist crap. You learn something new everyday with respect to the gay movement.

              •  Oh give it a rest (4+ / 0-)

                I expect to be hearing "white gays" this and "white gays" that very shortly.  People want to address the racial comment because they don't want to address the actual issue, namely continuation of a Bush era policy heavily criticized by the left.

                What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

                by Alec82 on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 09:47:15 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Give it a rest is your response (0+ / 0-)

                  Your response to your apologizing for comments that were rude and struck out at a person's race? This coming in a thread filled with (justifiable) outrage over gay rights issues? I guess the knee jerk reaction from the gay community regarding racism is something I didn't expect but after Prop 8 and all that backlash I'm used to it. I just find it hypocritical but 'give it a rest' seems to do what exactly?

                  Again, I'm not one to tell people to 'get over it'. It's an issue I cannot truly ever relate to because I am not gay. I am however black so yes, the racial tones bother me. But so does the distress I see in the gay community because discrimination is discrimination to me. However I'm on the sidelines due to comments like yours and the other posters that do cross the line in the other way. You assuming people want to sweep issues in the gay community under the rug was wrong and not respectful fully of the coalitions that are at best hanging by a thin thread. But whatever, I'll give it a rest and you pat your buddies on the back and rage away. Great plan that will accomplish something.

                  •  Actually I said I didn't agree with the comment.. (4+ / 0-)

                    (to the extent that it was even sensical) but the outrage was attempting to derail the thread.  That's what happens in all of these threads.  Hijacking by Obama apologists.

                    I'm sorry that you're a fair weather "ally," but I'm interested in the issues, not petty bickering over offensive language, and  attempts to derail the conversation (as you have) and make it about "the gay movement's" problem with race.  

                    What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

                    by Alec82 on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 09:57:32 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Ah, sweeping it under the rug is better (0+ / 0-)

                      I'm in California so my perspective is a bit different than some others on this issue. Not in that I feel any different than I did Nov 4th, but race was quickly interjected into the argument when a scapegoat was needed. So I see the racial aspect is tied into these arguments and don't see it as derailment. As it is, a poster who isn't deemed an Obama apologist brought race into the argument so any derailment is theirs to own.

                      I don't need your sorrow. I'll always vote with my heart and mind like I said, I'd never tell anyone to get over something that is based in discrimination but I'm on the sidelines. I admit I frankly don't care to be on the marching line with you or the gay community anymore. The ugly side I didn't know was there is exhibited far too much and it's been in fine display, I'm now a fairweather ally, an Obama apologist and before that I was a derogatory name and fit in with all the other black people who pushed Prop 8 over the line into passing. So yeah, call me what you want, I simply don't care because if anything true selves are being shown so this ally stuff on both ends is coming up bullshit when one side failed to get what they wanted.

                      I'd also take your words about being interested in real issues if you didn't involve yourself in petty name calling and labeling. But you can't even connect the dots to see where the derailment began. Oh well. Continue with your name calling and condoning of racial insults. Like I said, it'll definitely get you somewhere. It's been working so well so far.

                      •  I was in California.... (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        bruh1, Predictor

                        ...and voted in the 2008 election there.  Yes, race was interjected.  I remember the debate here, and in the national media outlets.  But this diary is about federal legislation and litigation that impacts gays, not CA's proposition 8.  The poster in question had one line about "black cool crap," which is borderline nonsensical.  

                        And yes, if your commitment to civil rights is contingent on the recipients of your good wil being perfect, nonracist human beings, you are a fair weather friend.  You want to discuss racism in the gay community, be my guest.  But don't use it as a shield to justify your decision not to help the gay community, which includes black gay men and lesbians, who are just as impacted as we are.  

                        The petty name calling and labeling? Look upthread: PUMAs, Obama bashers, racists, etc.  This happens in every thread on the administration's actions.  Every last one.  The arguments are dishonest and meant to distract. I'm sick and tired of it.    

                        What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

                        by Alec82 on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 10:19:28 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  It's all connected (0+ / 0-)

                          And becomes so when someone brings s race into the conversation. I didn't inject it, the poster in question did so point your weak finger of blame where it belongs if credibility is something you're truly interested in.

                          I personally feel Obama, DOJ, are wrong, but I won't stand for stupid racist crap either. Because if we allow that, you should hardly raise your voice in anger if someone comes back with something stupid along a gay theme. Hypocrisy is hypocrisy.

                          My commitment is not in question. I have not suddenly turned around and am anti-gay marriage or anti-gay rights. I will just continue voting my heart and my mind - I just won't walk with hateful, racist idiots who happen to be gay and in one day slam me and then plead for my contribution the next. The cause is bigger than the imperfect bunch represented here and at other websites. My decision to continue helping and voting properly with respect to gay and civil rights does not rely on the fact that as 'friends' you pretty much suck.

                          You should be sick and tired of your intellectual dishonesty but it's whatever.

                        •  Alec82 (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Predictor, Alec82

                          And I am guilty in this regard. And I wa swrong for being baited into that.

                          But I am sick and tired of hearing some black people (and I am black FYI) atrributing all criticism of Obama to racism, I really am. This DOJ is brief is digusting.

                  •  Fool, I didn't strike out at his race, but the (4+ / 0-)
                    propaganda that was used to sell his candidacy.

                    Dipshits thrive and survive everywhere. But the internet seems to be their feeding ground.

                    •  It's a good thing you've come this far (0+ / 0-)

                      Accepting your status as a 'dispshit' is the first step. Hopefully you can rectify this sad situation.

                      This is coalition building correct? Oh I forgot, you don't need allies.

                      •  A coalition of who? I don't want to be a (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Larry Bailey, Predictor
                        repressed republican, or a nasty neocon. I want to be an American citizen with a government we can trust. That I won't be terrified that when I die my kids and grandkids won't be growing up in a selfish, rotten hellhole where there are only two classes, predator and prey. Where my neice Peggy Jo can marry Michelle if she wants, especially since I understand they now have Michelle's child to raise. (They WERE saving up to go to California. I told them there's still Vermont, but they're really angry right now, don't want to hear it.) Or at the very very least, not have their parents sexual orientation be a liability for them when the kids goes to school, in their neighborhood, would like to be accepted as an equal everywhere. (Good luck with that. I understand the goverment has them classified on a par with those that commit incest and pedophilia. Funny, that's not how they strike me but what the fuck do I know, I'm just either a PUMA or the dreaded of all insults, a RACIST!!!!!) By the way, do you agree that GLBTers are on a par with child molesters and cousin f**kers? I mean, what do making those claims make the clowns in this administration? Doesn't sound too politically correct to me.

                        I want my descendents to grow up in a country with HONEST leaders. I want my kids to grow up in a country where they have a right to a higher education.

                        None of this is possible under this administration the way it is now. And now they're sneaking people into secret meetings, just like the bush admin. So I really have absolutely no faith that things will change.

                        If you can point me in the direction of the coalition that I've described, please do so. Otherwise, take your fake and phony outrage and spew it where it really belongs.

                        •  I don't agree (0+ / 0-)

                          I don't think gay people are child molesters, I don't think they are horrible people or do horrible things. I will not however stand up for racist crap. Fine, coalition building is dead. Hopefully you and yours will get what you want. I hope your attitude and way about things gets what you want. Racism and stupidity in all.

                          •  Once and for all, all I did was repeat (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Larry Bailey, Predictor
                            propaganda dreamt up by someone else and put on a magazine cover. Nothing more. And it was a big selling point. What pisses me off the most is that he didn't live up to expectations, and that is NOT (repeat NOT) a product of pigmentation, it is a mindset of opportunism and the willingness to be a tool for those who really pull the strings.

                            And I hope someday I get what I want as well. But it will never happen with this crew.

                          •  i've tried to read all the posts in this thread (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Larry Bailey, Alec82

                            and give you an answer since it seems you are just being yelled at.

                            After some consideration. I don't think you are a racist or a PUMA.

                            I think your comment about "black cool" doesn't rise to what I would consider racism. Racism is refusing to hire someone because of their race, it is using racial epithets to belittle and demean someone, it is systematic destruction of groups of people. Your "black cool" comment was, I think, at worst, in bad taste.

                            The substance of your posts deserve a response.

                            I've been very upset at many things the Obama administration has done also. I've had a hard time maintaining my support. The administration's position on gay rights may be the straw that breaks the camel's back.

                            I understand those that continue to support Obama. I believe he should represent more than an individual, but rather a movement. Perhaps he will not fulfill all the aspirations of that movement, but his failures should not be seen as a failure of the movement and certainly not of the movement's aspirations.

                            I hear your anger and I agree with it, though I would not express it the way you did. I validate it even if others here won't.

                          •  Bad taste? Maybe. But you don't think that (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Larry Bailey
                            hyperbole was a big part of the attraction? And why is it wrong for me to repeat one of the headlines that everyone was so proud of? Isn't that part of why a lot of people voted for him? Did not all of us talk about how monumentally historical it would be if he were elected. Some people even said it would redeem us as a nation if we did this, and condemn us as a nation of forever racists if we didn't. Hell, I didn't care, I just believed what he said (that'll teach me to forget that if a politicians mouth is moving, he's probably lying).

                            I don't think it has anything to do with his qualifications at all. In fact, I think he's as good at equivocating and bullshitting as anyone of ANY color.

                            No, I was just using the phraseolgy that the media used. Did you not see the GQ cover? I guess that I'm not allowed to repeat things like that. I can read 'em. I can maybe even agree with 'em. But I can't say it out loud. Or post it on the web.

                            Next time I'll know better than to repeat what I've heard or read and start making shit up I guess.

                          •  didn't say it was wrong (0+ / 0-)

                            said it was perhaps in bad taste. Seems like you didn't read my post which pretty much agreed with you 100%.

                          •  Sorry, didn't mean to rile you up as well but... (0+ / 0-)
                            I was just explaining my remark yet once again.

                            I know I wasn't wrong. I guess I just repeated the wrong magazine headline.

                            I read your post. Thank you for your understanding.

                          •  tension is high, whenever the "Racist" bomb (0+ / 0-)

                            is tossed. I'm not riled, just wish the discussion would stay reasoned and avoid the eye-gouging. There are some Obama supporters here who will look for anything you write that they can jump on, and I guess the "black cool" comment was it. But if you read their statements closely, almost all of them stated somewhere that they also did not agree with the Obama administration on some or many issues. So the way I read it, there are people here who agree with you, but your chosen method of expression is turning them off. I'm not telling you to change a word you wrote, you have every right to express yourself and the anger you feel. I would say this, you aren't reaching some people who would ordinarily be sympathetic, because your chosen method of expression is inflammatory.

                          •  I never meant it to be 'inflammatory'. I only (0+ / 0-)
                            repeated the campaign propaganda. I understand your point though.
              •  Homophobic Bullshit (0+ / 0-)

                You learn something new everyday with respect to the gay movement.

                Or is racism wrong, but homophobia is okay?

              •  Homophobic Bullshit is okay? (0+ / 0-)

                You learn something new everyday with respect to the gay movement.

                Racism bad, homophobia good?

            •  Right. Because we are the ones that (0+ / 0-)

              are reverse racists.

              Rush is that you?

      •  Can't believe it got... (5+ / 0-)

        recced.  Sheesh.

        y el canto de todos que es mi propio canto

        by gatorbot on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 08:57:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Oh please. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Predictor

        There are plenty of people into black cool these days. Just check your local movie listings. Stop trying to pretend that things don't exist just because they are inconvenient truths.

      •  "Black Cool" is a reference . . . (5+ / 0-)

        . . . to this.

        It's the selling of the President as a hipster, "someone I'd like to have a mojito with," while ignoring substantive analysis of his policy positions during the campaigns.

        It's about how the President was packaged and sold to so-called "progressives."

        Now if you want to try to convince me that the editors of Ebony are racists, well, that's quite a mountain you've picked to climb, but go right ahead.

        The real enemy of the good is not the perfect, but the mediocre.

        by Orange County Liberal on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 11:27:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh, piffle. (5+ / 0-)

          Don't confuse the issue with facts. If this band of Obama apologists declares that the statement was inherently racist and that there can be no other interpretation, that's the final word. There is no appeal. Context, logic, facts--all irrelevant.

          This is what happens every time. All it takes is one reference to race in any form (whether it's blatant like harveymilk's epic stupidity, or fairly innocuous like this one) they launch into full outrage and if you don't endorse their judgement immediately and unequivocally, you're a racist, too.

          It's all racist, all the time. And it's never more pronounced than when LGBT people get offended by something Obama or his team do.

          The amount of homophobia that underlies this is truly astonishing.

          "Troll-be-gone...apply directly to the asshole. Troll-be-gone...apply directly to the asshole."

          by homogenius on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 12:23:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  "Don't confuse the issue with facts." (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Larry Bailey, homogenius

            Yeah, I really need to watch out for that around here.

            All it takes is one reference to race in any form . . . they launch into full outrage and if you don't endorse their judgement immediately and unequivocally, you're a racist, too.

            Apparently it's okay to defend Judge Sotomayor for using the words "wise Latina" in describing the strengths she's brings to the bench, but mention the President's African-American heritage and you're a racist.

            Seems awfully convenient.

            The real enemy of the good is not the perfect, but the mediocre.

            by Orange County Liberal on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 02:20:40 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  No shit. They sold that to every man, woman, and (0+ / 0-)
          child during the election. Don't frigging think for a minute that those copies of Ebony (earlier I called it GQ. Sorry.) on the front of every magazine rack, selling the top ten sexiest black men in America, asking who is No. 1 (like it was a real braintwister) weren't looked at by EVERYONE, black white, asian, hispanic, every freaking one, male and female, old and young. That was freaking intentional folks. That was great marketing. And what, only certain people can notice that? Or is it that I can see it and say to ourselves, "yep, I can sure as shit see why he's No. 1" in September, but I'm not allowed to bring it up as a point in how this man was marketed in June? It has been said by smarter people than I am that this past election was a brilliant combination of advertising, controlling the message (Change we can ...), and public exposure (and lots of it). And Barack Obama was NOT sold as some damn troll under a bridge. He was in bathing suits, jogging outfits, buying flowers, eating pie, the whole fucking nine yards for MONTHS. The only picture we didn't see was him in the shower. Playing basketball, tossing a football. Hey, just more of the same. But damn, I am not allowed to mention a frigging article, one of the biggest marketing coups, of that frigging entire campaign. Why? Because I'm white? Was my job done after the vote was cast. Now I have to keep quiet and not talk about what the fuck was shoved down our throats day in and day out?

          Talk about hypocritic bullshit. But you know what, let's do this. Let's say all his bad shit is coming from his white side. He has one whether anyone likes it or not. And just for sport, we can make it his bad side since I can't talk about his black side. I'll take the responsibility for speaking for whitey. Well, you better get his black side busy and tell whitey to straighten up and fly right. That he's fucking up and pissing a lot of people off for playing footsie with the republicans, leaving Don Seigelman convicted while Stephens and others go free, why his DOMA defense was sooooo unbelievably offensive, why the jobs aren't gonna come back, why he busted the unions and paid off the banks, why he's allowing telecom spying, the bush** admin to skate, committing more money (160 billion isn't it?) to wars that we cannot win, where are all these jobs he's promised, why are people still being foreclose upon and we're still giving banks money, why are war criminals free to thumb their noses at decent people everywhere, why did he come to the public option for healthcare so late in the game and why is he so weasly about it, and more, on, and more. That's for those who say he's only had five months. He's made major policy statements on everyone of those issues, he's taken action on most. He even told us today its none of our business who comes to our White House. He's had time to kick us all in the ass and break almost every MAJOR promise he made. He abandoned the unions who threw this freaking election in his favor in the first place. And people bitch because I bring up an advertising gimmick?

          Wow, as long as we focus on the big picture here. (That was pure sarcasm, believe me.)

    •  he's the best president of my lifetime so far (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Yoshimi, chumley, blzabub8, Sleepwalkr

      and I mean, of course he's betraying us on all kind of stuff. They will always do that. Even FDR and LBJ had to have their feet held to the fire to do a lot of the good they did. Since Nixon ALL of them have been corporate whores and all but Carter and Clinton have been fascist enablers. Obama is at least trying some stuff that no-one since LBJ has even inched towards. We don't live in France or Cuba, people: this is the heart of the Empire, here. I'm amazed that Obama's gotten anywhere at all.

      We have to keep fighting and pushing and trying to change public opinion, and keep holding Obama's feet to the fire.

      So I agree that we can't trust him. But he's actually doing some things for us. The left has been cutting off its nose to spite its face since Vietnam - we are going to be a fascist country in ten years if we don't learn to cut this shit out now. Real progress is ugly and compromised, always.

      The DOJ brief still sucks of course.

    •  What it was (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Predictor

      It was an attempt at achieving absolution and redemption without having to face, much less deal with or pay for, our sins.

      People trust him for the same reason people trusted GWB, because that's the easiest and most pleasant alternative. Choosing the easiest and most pleasant alternative is one of the sins people elected him to avoid having to face, deal with, or pay for.

      PS He did not make a fantastic speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. That was my first clue that something was up, when everyone was gushing over it the next day. This is what I call the "3x5 card phenomenon."

    •  He is exactly what and who he campaigned on (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sleepwalkr

      How did so many of you assign such idealistic dreams to the type of change, the amount of change, the speed of change that would realistically be possible?
      And most of that campaigning was before the economy went in the crapper, and a whole huge new issue had to get added to the agenda?

      "People who have what they want are fond of telling people who haven't what they want that they really don't want it." Ogden Nash (on universal health care?)

      by Catte Nappe on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 09:49:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Rec'd by (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dragon Prince

      tiponeill, scorpiorising, Silverbird, ExStr8, esquimaux, need pr, creekobear, Richard Lyon, limpidglass, thestructureguy, arcticshadow, Faeya Wingmother

      If your name is listed here, I hope you realize you recommended a racist statement.

      •  Congratulations. (2+ / 2-)
        Recommended by:
        Larry Bailey, Richard Lyon
        Hidden by:
        carlos the jackal, chumley

        You have now officially played the race card.

        Now go fuck yourself.

        I am very familiar with a number of those people. I am reasonably sure that they are not racist. And let's be honest here--you just did everything but call them racists.

        So fuck you, asshole. I'm not going to pretty it up, I'm not going to try and sound reasonable. You are hijacking this thread by invoking race.

        Fuck. You.

        P.S. The "black cool" comment was stupid because this is always what happens in one of these discussions--all it takes is one reference to race, no matter how innocuous, and you assholes hijack the thread. So fuck you and fuck your homophobia.

        "Troll-be-gone...apply directly to the asshole. Troll-be-gone...apply directly to the asshole."

        by homogenius on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 12:29:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well you've played every card in your deck (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Escamillo

          You've called others who disagree with you trolls and homophobes, why shouldn't people start dealing with you  with the same "even handedness" you deal with them?

          I'm new here, but you are a part of a group I've come to identify as "on Dkos too long and don't know when they're behaving like trolls anymore."  Others I've met are "free spirit" and the poorly-named "eternal hope."  At least your nickname doesn't belie your attitude.

          •  Good for you, Noob. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Richard Lyon

            You've been here all of 15 minutes and you can read who's who and what's what.

            It so happens that there's a history here, going back to the fall of '07 and l'affaire McClurkin. This is just another chapter.

            We'll see how long you last. But you smell like a troll.

            "Troll-be-gone...apply directly to the asshole. Troll-be-gone...apply directly to the asshole."

            by homogenius on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 04:29:01 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  P.S. I'm not part of any group. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ezekial 23 20

            To invoke Groucho, "I'd never belong to any group that would have me as a member".

            I don't really know free spirit and eternal hope very well, but I'll have to give them a closer look. If you don't like them, they must be doing something right.

            Now try not to splash too much in the shallow end.

            "Troll-be-gone...apply directly to the asshole. Troll-be-gone...apply directly to the asshole."

            by homogenius on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 04:36:50 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Rec'd by... (0+ / 0-)

        ...me, too, so add me to your list, McCarthy.

        Funny thing is: I suspect you actually know where the comment/reference originated, but can't bring yourself to admit it, for that would deny you another apparently sweet orgasmic experience of yelling "racist" at someone else here.

        Thank you, Dr. Tiller, for your commitment. Peace to the Tiller Family.

        by Larry Bailey on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 03:34:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  As somebody else pointed out, 'Black Cool' was a (0+ / 0-)

        term used in Ebony magazine, and not a racist one.

        So I hope that 'Yoshimi' realizes he's making up racism that didn't exist.  Will an apology to those people for his lack of knowledge be forthcoming?  I'm kinda doubting it, but please, prove me pleasantly wrong.

        Bah. Typoed during acct creation. It's Ezekiel 23:20

        by Ezekial 23 20 on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 05:20:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Let's try this again based on facts. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Into The Stars, Escamillo

      The shrill histrionics today are just too much. It is one thing to say the president is backtracking on promises made to the gay community and another to generate a series of vague and biased statements suggesting he is a con man who does not follow through on any campaign promises.

      This is supposed to be a reality based community, suggesting facts may be of interest.

      Politifact tracking of Obama's campaign promises

      By their count, he has kept 30 promises so far and broken 6. Hardly the makings of a political scheister at 5:1 in the first 5 1/2 months of his presidency.

      "Statistics are people with the tears wiped away." --Irving Selikoff

      by smartdemmg on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 01:01:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's the ones that he HASN'T kept that (0+ / 0-)
        are the deal breakers. He's only kept the ones that are no skin off his corporate masters backs.
        •  In your opinion (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Into The Stars, Escamillo

          Many people who have life threatening neurological diseases find the stem cell bill rather important.

          Many women who have worked for half of what their male counterparts make find the Lily Leadbetter act rather important.

          Many of us think moving forward on trying to shut down Guantanamo important, as well as health care reform etc.

          "Statistics are people with the tears wiped away." --Irving Selikoff

          by smartdemmg on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 01:41:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  And again, and again, and again. (5+ / 0-)

      It's hard for me to remember a time when Dr. Dean spoke against what I believed in and support.

      But then again, he doesn't have to wrangle the votes to pass laws and take responsibility for his policies.  

      But I kind of agree with Bill Maher that I wish President Obama WOULD speak (and act) more like Dr. Dean (Although Maher used Bush as an example)

      Joe Scarborough... sleeper 2012 Republican Presidential candidate. Or he's shooting for the VP prize. Either way, he's still a snake in the grass.

      by gooderservice on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 08:51:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well hmmm (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wader

    A) I don't believe John McCain.  Maybe he would have.  Maybe.  He's probably the most gay friendly candidate they've run...ever. But...I think that's wishful thinking.  He ran on preserving DADT.  If he had actually run on halting discharges, supporting civil unions and maybe supporting ENDA he would have a) alienated his anti-gay base and b) picked up a larger share of the gay vote.  

    B) Howard Dean may be a fierce advocate now, but he was pushed there (civil unions were very controversial in Vermont at the time of the state supreme court decision).  He has made numerous stumbles on LGBT issues along the way.    

    What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

    by Alec82 on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 08:16:08 AM PDT

  •  Seems like there's at least starting to be (19+ / 0-)

    some media recognition of the issue; as my new diary points out NYT and WSJ are both on this issue today as well.

  •  IS this Obama's position? (24+ / 0-)

    "I don‘t think for a minute this represents the president‘s position."

    A minute is how long it would take Obama to denounce the excesses of this despicable brief.

    Has he done so?

    •  Even acknowledging (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mad Biologist, Predictor

      that there may be a gap -- between mustering legal arguments robust enough to definitively overturn the status quo, and the legitimate expectations of gay Americans -- would be a sop.

      "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

      by lgmcp on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 09:40:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is also what someone who can't win (0+ / 0-)

    a national election looks like.

    I was never warned. I was just suddenly locked out. -TocqDville'

    by dakrle on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 08:21:21 AM PDT

  •  Dean 2012 (14+ / 0-)

    Obama's first mistake was ousting Dean.  His second mistake was governing from the middle.

    "It's a gay witches for abortion party Flanders, you wouldn't be interested." - Homer Simpson

    by angry liberaltarian on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 08:23:49 AM PDT

  •  I am very disappointed and I don't understand (7+ / 0-)

    the anti-gay stuff with Obama right now.

    I keep thinking that you don't change military policy in the middle of two wars, but is there ever a good time?

    but I am sad over this
    I will give him more time

  •  The NYT also weighs in (21+ / 0-)

    A must-read.

    Here's a sample:

    If the administration does feel compelled to defend the act, it should do so in a less hurtful way. It could have crafted its legal arguments in general terms, as a simple description of where it believes the law now stands. There was no need to resort to specious arguments and inflammatory language to impugn same-sex marriage as an institution.

  •  Congrats for being on the Recc'd list (10+ / 0-)

    And yay for Howard Dean. I'm glad that he has the cojones to speak up on this issue. It's about time. We need to see Dean run for the Senate, or do something equally helpful to get a more progressive agenda going. Thankfully though, Vermont has 2 good progressives in their senate seats already. I just wish we could have more good people like Sanders and Leahy.  

    Please support equality in California: http://www.couragecampaign.org

    by Curiosity on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 08:30:19 AM PDT

    •  Aw, thanks but I deserve no credit (7+ / 0-)

      my own ideas and words have carried me to the rec list before, but this on is all on Howard and Rachel. Nice to see people interested in Howard's words, he deserves an audience.

      It only took five months of GOP being out of power for the Right Wing to start shooting up the country. Terrorists!

      by Scott Wooledge on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 08:44:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Outside of a cabinet or czar position, I like to (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tnichlsn, Catte Nappe

      see Dr. Dean exactly where he is.  Look at Al Gore... if he had run for the Senate (which he wouldn't have) he wouldn't have been able to accomplish as much as he has.

      So unless Dr. Dean is in an appointed position to effectuate policy, then he's perfect where he is.

      Joe Scarborough... sleeper 2012 Republican Presidential candidate. Or he's shooting for the VP prize. Either way, he's still a snake in the grass.

      by gooderservice on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 08:54:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Impeach! Impeach!! Impeach!!!! Impeach!!!! (5+ / 0-)

    Just calm the FUCK down.  It's good to put pressure on the administration (thank you Rachel) but people have got to get a grip ...

    Dean 2012????

    Jesus fucking Christ.

    No quarter. No surrender.

    by hegemony57 on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 08:33:05 AM PDT

    •  No one said "Dean in 2009" so you can drop (5+ / 0-)

      the hysterics.

    •  That's how it is now (5+ / 0-)

      here.  Love/hate, with us/against us; I saw little in terms of actual constructive suggestions, such as requesting that POTUS institute a moratorium on the usage of incest/pedophilia precedents in DOJ briefs in this context without immediately recasting POTUS as an enemy to GLBTs; action items calling for commenters to contact senators and reps to begin to create a master list of which senators/reps support a repeal of DOMA and which need to be lobbied by the grassroots...none of that.  Just a lot of hatred, including a multi-rec'd comment upthread which all but called POTUS a fraud and asked whether it was the "black cool crap" which supposedly blinded so many people to POTUS?

      Does the site a disservice, but you can't tell folks s--t.  To them, this style of advocacy is the only principled, true way to represent a progressive belief system.

      "My favorite is Greta Van Susteren." -- Kirsten Gillibrand, a FauxNews Progressive???

      by GN1927 on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 08:53:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I would bet, (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Timoteo, Predictor, LarsThorwald

        had the anti-brief people had been aware of the contents of the brief before it was submitted, they probably would have taken some of the actions you mention.

        The brief is out there now--kind of hard to put toothpaste back in the tube.

        The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

        by dfarrah on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 09:03:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Even if we might grant Obama's people (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Predictor

          had no idea what was in it, that itself is telling.

          I KNEW that the brief was coming, many, many gay journalists and activists were discussing it and anticipating it.

          Even if DOJ rules forbid them inquiring, they could have had a very general statement ready to go, but didn't.

          If the Obama admin's silence before, during and after (to this day) is just a function of being caught flat-footed, it speaks legions to exactly how much they are paying attention.

          It only took five months of GOP being out of power for the Right Wing to start shooting up the country. Terrorists!

          by Scott Wooledge on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 09:08:00 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I personally have been talking about (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          hegemony57, SDuvall, pinkbunny

          why it's regressive to associate GLBTs with pedophiles or sexual predation for some time.

          Rather than a bunch of exaggeration and negativity, why not turn this into something positive?

          Only a fucking idiot would believe that POTUS hates GLBTs.  Only a moron.  And personally, I don't think he would even need to be told that there is a regressive effect to this linkage, even one made in what others consider a dry recitation of predecent.  So why not: "in this context, because there has been a years-long and semi-successful regressive campaign to connect GLBTs with incest/pedophilia, we ask that this clearly progressive WH, particularly Atty Gen Holder, consider issuing a moratorium on the usage of these precedents, even where the motive is benign."

          But no, not as easy and not as much fun as constantly railing and imagining that every single issue is us versus them, with blog battles representing the battle of good and evil for the ages.

          Still waiting for the rec'd diary with a plan to lobby Congress on DOMA, too.

          "My favorite is Greta Van Susteren." -- Kirsten Gillibrand, a FauxNews Progressive???

          by GN1927 on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 09:12:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I was asking (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Predictor

            specifically about the brief and whether or not it was public knowledge that the brief would contain the language that it does.

            You went off in a million different directions.  

            It certainly sounds like pro-gay factions were blindsided by the language in the brief.  

            And apparently, people like you, who "have been talking why it's regressive to associate GLBTs with pedophiles or sexual predation for some time" haven't gotten your message through to the president in a manner that would cause your message to filter down to the justice department briefs so that the briefs wouldn't make the negative connections you mention.  

            So, one could even make the argument, that despite pro-gay efforts like the ones you recommend, the justice department and BO seem to hold dispicable views of gay people.  I'm not going to make that argument, but I would find it difficult to think that BO is unaware of the vicious remarks made by anti-gay people.  How such remarks made their way into the brief under this administration is something I don't know.

            The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

            by dfarrah on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 09:25:57 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  So ask them (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Predictor

              Repeating myself, why not ask POTUS and ATTGEN Holder:

              "in this context, because there has been a years-long and semi-successful regressive campaign to connect GLBTs with incest/pedophilia, we ask that this clearly progressive WH, particularly Atty Gen Holder, consider issuing a moratorium on the usage of these precedents, even where the motive is benign."

              "My favorite is Greta Van Susteren." -- Kirsten Gillibrand, a FauxNews Progressive???

              by GN1927 on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 09:34:06 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  That has been my most frustrating (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            GN1927

            feeling - the lack of any concrete action or plan or strategy.

            The question still is - what are we going to do?

            So What's next?

            No wonder we can't get anything accomplished!

            We're too busy feeling sorry for ourselves and complaining about our politicians.

            "Lead, follow, or get out of the way" - Thomas Paine

            by pinkbunny on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 09:26:14 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  It's taken some time but I now understand (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GN1927

        the dynamics and usefulness of DK in particular and the blogsphere in general.

        Its aces for organizing, but for working out issues and problems not so much.

        It SUCKS for so-called citizen reporting EXCEPT when there is a breaking event that needs to be covered at the superficial (e.g. see it now) level.  An example of this would be the fires in Santa Barbara.

        What is extraordinary is how childish and thoughtless and mean-spirited and group-thought centric it can get so damn quickly.  I have to be very careful myself (and have not always been successful) not to get sucked down that rabbit hole.

        No quarter. No surrender.

        by hegemony57 on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 09:05:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  You need to calm down. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Predictor, m00finsan

      No one used words like "Impeach" except you.

      You're the one behaving like a big old drama queen, taking a critique of the President and ratcheting it up with hyperbolic rhetoric.

      Projection much?

      It only took five months of GOP being out of power for the Right Wing to start shooting up the country. Terrorists!

      by Scott Wooledge on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 09:25:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Here is a plan of action! (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eclare, dykester, Predictor, m00finsan

      lets rally together with our progressive allies to elect a majority Senate and Congress to push through a legislative agenda. We can also unite behind a Presidential candidate who will promise to work on behalf of the LGBT community. We can travel out from blue states like California and do door to door campaigning in states like Virginia and North Carolina in hopes of turning them blue. Now that might mean that we will have to abandon battles at home, like ballot initiatives that strip the LGBT community of its rights. But it will be for the greater good. Then once we get a Democrat elected to the White House, the Senate and Congress under Democratic control we can get a repeal of DOMA and DADT!

      Oh, wait, yeah..... We already did that......

      We've all got both light and dark inside of us, what matters is the part we choose to act on. That is who we really are. - Sirius Black

      by Schtu on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 09:45:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm with you. If we don't get most of what we (0+ / 0-)

        worked for (I started in 1973) in the next 3 years then we can assess.  I don't think its time to start calling the Obama Admin a failure just yet.  We should keep up the pressure but calling for Dean in 2012 is premature.

        No quarter. No surrender.

        by hegemony57 on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 09:47:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Patience (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mainefem, Predictor

          The problem with waiting through the next few years is that our elected officials are currently working AGAINST us on LGBT issues.  If they were just busy with other things, that would be one thing.  But this has moved well beyond that now.

          •  Do you really think so? I see them working on (0+ / 0-)

            other issues (health care, economy, war and peace) so I am not so sure they are at cross purposes with what I see as a civil rights agenda.  I do think (as noted above) that constant pressure is a good thing.  I just don't think we have to push the panic button yet.

            No quarter. No surrender.

            by hegemony57 on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 10:09:39 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hegemony57, Predictor

        Jeebus - I swear it's as if we hadn't just won a sweeping victory to take control of both houses (by substantial margins) as well as the White House.

  •  I wish I could defend that brief. (24+ / 0-)

    But it's completely indefensible.  The only thing worse than the language would be to have Donnie McClurkin deliver the oral argument.

    "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

    by Geekesque on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 08:34:02 AM PDT

  •  "at what point patients should expire?" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Clarknt67

    Cracked me up big time. Someone had a context of translation issue.

  •  I have to wonder if Obama and the DOJ are (0+ / 0-)

    playing good cop bad cop here. Obama seems to want it to be clear the the DOJ is its own entity here.

    Here's to the start of a great 8 years!

    by Xtatic on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 08:38:46 AM PDT

  •  is it bad to think the word marriage (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Capt Morgan, Muzikal203
    should be dropped from the government's (state also) lexicon and replaced with civil unions. i just think churches should be allowed to marry whomever they want. some churches will marry gay people and some will not. i just think it needs to be a compromise because i am really getting tired of hearing that gays do not have the same rights as straight unions and married opposite sex couples speaking as if their relationships are being attacked by gay couples. i do not care about other married couples - my wife and i have enough obstacles in our life to handle
    •  Just "DUH" (5+ / 0-)

      i just think churches should be allowed to marry whomever they want."

      They are. They always have been. No one says otherwise.

      "i just think it needs to be a compromise because i am really getting tired..."

      Tired is a polite word for what you're getting.

      Your solution for your tiredness (tiresomeness?) is to compromise the rights of millions just to make bigots more comfortable.

      •  No, churches are NOT free to marry whomever (0+ / 0-)

        they want. There are many churches in this country that are ready and willing to marry queers. Laws like DOMA and state versions of the same prevent them from doing so.

        Like matter and anti-matter, Republicans and the truth seem unable to occupy the same space.

        by dykester on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 11:23:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Interesting Oversight on Dean's Part... (6+ / 0-)

    DOMA, of all the things that were done in sort of an anti-gay period, electioneering period engineered by Carl Rove and Newt Gingrich and people like that - DOMA was probably the most offensive.  And these - I think most people believe it never should have been signed.

    Interesting that he never mentions who was President during this period and who, when he signed off on DOMA, stated, "I have long opposed governmental recognition of same-gender marriages."

    That said, I think this interview makes it clear that Dean has no illusions as to which wing of the Democratic Party is in control of the White House these days.

  •  Please, enough with bringing people who are OUT (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GN1927

    of office to support your agenda.

    why is it that when clinton, cheney and this fellow when in office, they were NOT speaking about gay marriage BUT come the day they leave office they start talking.

    ok then, when Obama leaves office he will start talking too and shame the next president.

    •  That would be THE GAY AGENDA? (9+ / 0-)

      Why the fuck would Dean not be allowed to speak? Your point is idiotic.

      when Obama leaves office he will start talking too and shame the next president.

      Obama "started talking" in support of gay marriage when he was in the Illinois legislature -- thus shaming this person who now sits in the Oval Office.

      •  the last time i check dean had SAID (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Escamillo

        nothing till he left a place of power. don't play naive. what don't you get in the statments.

        cheney and bush tried to ban gay marriage now he is in support. clinton was the one who passed DOMA and DADT that you RANT about non-stop, now he is talking.

        now dean is talking again when he is OUT OF OFFICE, what the F##K don't you get there?

        •  You forget that congressional democrats failed (0+ / 0-)

          to cover Clinton's back and, in fact, went after him, too. THAT'S what brought down health care reform in Clinton's first term. He had to fight the demos and repubs. Obama has a MUCH friendlier and stronger congress than Clinton. Ergo, I would expect that Obama would be able to take bigger risks than Clinton.

          Like matter and anti-matter, Republicans and the truth seem unable to occupy the same space.

          by dykester on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 11:27:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  why did dean not speak when he was (0+ / 0-)

        Chairman of DNC?

    •  I doubt he will (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Predictor, Clarknt67, m00finsan

      when Obama leaves office he will start talking too and shame the next president.

      And remember, we heard little to nothing from the Clinton administation during the Bush Jr. administration.  It is so tiresome at this point, seeing honest and justifiable disagreements with the Obama administration ALWAYS blown up and taken where they don't need to go.

      So: "POTUS, please issue a moratorium on the DOJ using precedence involving pedophilia and incest in briefs relating to marriage, because of x, y, z" becomes nasty, sardonic, and at times, hateful, commentary positing that this presidential administration is to the right of Ghengis Khan.  It makes no f-ing sense.

      "My favorite is Greta Van Susteren." -- Kirsten Gillibrand, a FauxNews Progressive???

      by GN1927 on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 09:01:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Hm... the point is to get high profile (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wader, leonard145b, Predictor

      people to make it an issue we're discussing, nationally.

      AAC: Support local arts

      by jamesia on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 09:54:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The lawyers here who are zeleously (16+ / 0-)

    defending the language of that brief need to understand that the gay community and some of our supporters are going to find their defense offensive as we do the language of that brief. You have a right to express your opinions, but you don't have a right to immunity from criticism and negative reactions. Stop whining about it. There are enough other qualified lawyers that strongly disagree with you to give us non-lawyers ample comfort to completely disregarding your ravings as nasty hostility.

    •  Um.... (7+ / 0-)

      disagreeing over the legal and political import of this brief is not "nasty hostility" to the "gay community."

      I'm a gay attorney who thinks (a) the DOJ should have, given who is presently occupying the White House, filed a less aggressive defense BUT ALSO that (b) the hyperbole and disinformation surrounding the specific arguments and language of this particular brief is getting ridiculous.

      There are gay and straight attorneys who share my goals and interests with different views, despite many in the blogosphere that want to use this particular brief as a bludgeon.  This is all just my opinion, of course -- am I "raving"?

      y el canto de todos que es mi propio canto

      by gatorbot on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 09:11:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You are not posting the same argument (9+ / 0-)

        about 100 times in every diary that comes up on the subject. You are not shouting down and belittling the people who have a different opinion. You are not claiming that your legal opinion in the only possible valid legal opinion.

        Ergo, IMO your statement doesn't qualify as raving, so far. I think that much of the emotional reaction to the language is being fueled by the people who are so deeply committed to beating us over the head and telling us that any criticism of it is not only unreasonable but a threat to the constitution. I am not making that up.

        •  Thanks for the clarification.... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wader, Richard Lyon, CeeusBeeus

          There are so many emotional, political and legal angles to discuss regarding this brief -- it's really been, to step back for a moment, an interesting phenomena.

          I have been extremely frustrated with Obama's failure of leadership on LGBT issues, but I find some of the attacks on him and his administration unfair.  Some of them are deserved, and in my opinion Asst. Atty Gen. West and AG Holder really deserve the lion's share of the blame for the language and aggressive stance of the brief itself.

          Maybe if this forces Obama to move soon on DADT or DOMA (at the very least, he should move against Section 3 of DOMA) it's in the end a good thing.

          y el canto de todos que es mi propio canto

          by gatorbot on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 09:30:18 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Oops. "Phenomenon" is the singular. (0+ / 0-)

            "Phenomena" is the plural. Hate when I do that.

            y el canto de todos que es mi propio canto

            by gatorbot on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 09:32:41 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  In any heated political argument (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bruh1, eclare, dykester, gatorbot

            some people resort to language that goes beyond the bounds of reason.

            I would imagine if I had been sitting in the DOJ and faced with responding to this suit I could have seen arguments for and against various courses of action. I also certainly don't expect the Obama administration to accomplish all of its promises in five months. However, we have not seen even the slightest hint that they are making any positive movement what so ever and starting with Rick Warren they have been building up a track record of negative actions. While any one of those actions does not rise to the level of moral atrocity, the cumulative effect is have an ever greater impact. This brief and its language does not stand alone.  

            •  Well when the McClurkin thing happened... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Predictor

              I was not exactly restrained in my criticism of Obama, here or elsewhere.

              Given that he was on the record in support of gay marriage in '96, but forgot that as he moved on to bigger things, I've always known he put his personal ambitions above some sort of principled stand on these issues.

              I'm just concerned that we don't divide ourselves and develop an "us v. them" mentality amongst progressives when all the various issues surrounding this brief and how it fits into this administration's approach to LGBT issues are not as obvious as some have made it out to be.

              y el canto de todos que es mi propio canto

              by gatorbot on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 09:47:59 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  There seem to be a lot of people (6+ / 0-)

                on DKos who claim to be progressives are are consistently saying that the only way for gays to be part of the us is to sit in the back of the bus and STFU.

                I'm an old fart who's been knocking around the gay rights issues for many years. I've never seen much accomplished by worrying about being polite and well behaved.

                •  The entire matter of bias against gay people is (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  mainefem

                  long in history, we all know.

                  DOMA and DADT are stupid and putrid representations of that longstanding bias in quite recent political form, I feel.

                  So, there's plenty of justification for any of us being upset about lack of progress in equal rights, respect and treatment/safety for LGBT folks - which I'm guessing those folks (i.e., I happen to be hetero) may feel even more pressing as the prospects of seeing more enlightened views triumph in courts of law and federal policy seem closer than in recent memory.  A light shines from far away and we all want it to be the Sun.  Sincerely.

                  After living through hellish despair for eight years under the soul-extracting BushCo Administration, so many people hungry for change have been quite vociferously demanding all sorts of rapid and complete turnarounds in policy and law since Obama took office and the Democrats won Congress.  Again, positive prospects for such changes to occur seem closer than at any time in recent memory.

                  It seems natural for us to feel this way, having all that pent-up emotion finally let loose and having a target which we might be able to push, with solid goals and a few reasons to hope that our dreams won't be crushed by . . . someone we hoped mightily on being just another politician or our experiencing the inevitable grinding of ship-turning in legal or policy changes.  That's just for turning around BushCo and Reagan effects of the past 30 years.

                  So, I can imagine that - with so much more history of hatred, angry silence and deadly violence compared to eight years of BushCo and 30 years of Reagan's shadow for all of us - LGBT folks are feeling even more appropriate urgency and right-minded pressure for long-deserved change across specific needs and rights in our government and society.

                  That engenders much empathy and makes sense, is my point.

                  So, this:

                  There seem to be a lot of people on DKos who claim to be progressives are are consistently saying that the only way for gays to be part of the us is to sit in the back of the bus and STFU.

                  strikes me as potentially driving wedges into the community for people who are willing to publicly argue that there's multiple sides to debate here.   Sure, there's some folks who don't understand their own inculcated biases which still exist and express themselves online at DKos, but is that "a lot"?

                  I can sympathize with the history and feelings involved, but couldn't that serve as wholesale wedge-creation in these debates, rather than working with specific aliases?  Regardless of how justified your feelings to not worry "about being polite and well behaved" may be?

                  "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

                  by wader on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 11:23:20 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  It is my considered opinion (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    bruh1

                    that the people who are telling us that our issues are not as important as health care, etc., etc. and that we should stop complaining are driving the wedges. For all of your effusive language, you pretty much seem to be doing the same thing.

                    •  Well, thanks for insulting my writing style (0+ / 0-)

                      and implying that I'm saying something which I didn't offer nor feel.

                      Did I mention health care or other issues?

                      Did I say you should tone down the volume on LGBT equality policy or legal changes?

                      Nothing of the sort, because I don't think that would be right.

                      I was talking about your style in a particular post about this particular case being debated in this particular diary.

                      I don't appreciate being painted black without justification.

                      But, you answered my question, however impicitly: "No."

                      "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

                      by wader on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 12:02:13 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  What concerns me the most is that briefs like (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    wader, mainefem, Matt in AA

                    this one and other actions (like allowing queers in the military to continue to be forced out) are giving rise to an increase in queer bashing. Whether this brief indicates that Obama has changed his mind, kept it the same, is playing 3 or 11 dimensional chess, is making the DOJ appear more independent, all of these are beside the point. When those with power and the bully pulpit are seen as backing away from queer civil rights, then others who may not be as sympathetic or, worse, are openly hostile take that as permission to attack us, starting in all the little ways --- pushing us out of their way with a muttered "faggot" or sneering at us in public and telling their kids what pervs we are or beating up another kid for being too much of a "pansy".

                    Words mean something, and actions mean something. Those of us who lived through the Civil Rights movement of the 50s and 60s watched the violence  and saw how much of it driven by who was giving voice to the situation. When supporters do not object and protest intemperate language -- even if that means being rude and impolite -- bigots and their ilk are given free reign to speak as they choose. It would be nice if we could all be polite, but our country has a history (a tradition, some might say) of impolite words and conduct in the face of injustice. The Boston Tea party was not polite. The underground railroad was illegal. Sitting at diners and on buses where one is not wanted was impolite. But each of these actions was necessary and important and helped to pave the way for cultural change in the form of the Civil Rights Act.

                    Whether we like it or not, some people do not believe every person is entitled to the same civil rights as they are. It is incumbent on each and all of us who believe that ALL PEOPLE are created equal to speak up and object to dehumanizing words and conduct. This brief by the DOJ is dehumanizing. Sorry if we can't all be dispassionate about our second class status. I know many queers who poured their hearts and dollars into getting Obama and more democrats into office. Repaying that loyalty and drive with a brief that says it's a-okay to continue to treat us as second class citizens, or to compare the treatment of our relationships to incestuous ones is shocking and hurtful.

                    Like matter and anti-matter, Republicans and the truth seem unable to occupy the same space.

                    by dykester on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 11:55:51 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  That's all well and good (0+ / 0-)

                      and I didn't intend for anything to come across as enforcing a dispassionate stance for LGBT rights or Republican policy turnabouts - that's why I offered the slight comparisons in seeing how people rightly feel in response to historic issues that hit them personally.  To note that I feel such feelings we have are justified and should be expressed.

                      I was talking about driving wedges into this community unnecessarily through broad, potentially unfair accusations rooted in lack of some basic sensitivity in either or both directions, really.  Not even about simple politeness, just some basic consideration to hopefully avoid some "friendly fire" and not alienate supporters with good intentions.

                      But, I knew this was not an easy point to address and probably screwed it up in the process - apologies.

                      "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

                      by wader on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 12:08:59 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

    •  Exactly (4+ / 0-)

      There's a big difference between defending traffic laws for example, and defending civil rights laws. Some supposedly progressive people here apparently don't get the distinction. Some people here think we're talking about j-walking or bankruptcy law.

      And as long as they have their own marriages recognized, they apparently don't care about anyone else.

  •  Obama isn't an advocate... (10+ / 0-)

    ...fierce or otherwise.  He's a fucking mediator.

    I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

    by TheOrchid on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 08:54:08 AM PDT

  •  Dean should have been president... (4+ / 0-)

    shoulda, coulda woulda. Thank goodness for him.

  •  If you have a problem with the DOMA defense (4+ / 0-)

    than you really need to take it up with the DOJ because that is who wrote that.

    I doubt very seriously Obama is even aware that this was written or even read what was written.  

    "Because we won...we have to win." Obama - 6/6/08. WELL WE DID IT!!! 11/4/08

    by Drdemocrat on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 08:57:36 AM PDT

  •  Wow! (11+ / 0-)

    I can't believe a DOMA diary made the rec list!  I sincerely hope Obama undoes the damage he did with that brief.  He really screwed us on that one.  I mean, everyone's now going to say even the Obama justice department defends 'traditional marriage'.

    I know a lot of people around here don't want to look at what he did face on, but he fucked us over.

    Blagojevich/Palin '12.

    by fou on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 08:57:39 AM PDT

  •  Maybe we were too quick to pick the definition... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KateG, Clarknt67, Curiosity

    ...offierce he intended or too slow to detect his irony.

    The courageous and bold Dr. Dean is unlikely to win national elections because he's so bold and honest in his speech. As a spokesperson for progressives, he also has nothing to lose by speaking out, although he gives this admirer the sense that it makes no difference.  

    HR 676 - Health care reform we can believe in - national single-payer NOW.

    by kck on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 08:57:43 AM PDT

    •  The problem is not winning national elections... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kck, Predictor

      Dr. Dean is unlikely to win national elections because he's so bold and honest in his speech

      The problem for Dean and others like him is not winning nationnal elections, but not winning the Democratic nomination. Democrats will never nominate someone like Dean, not because they don't think he could win, but because they think that he could.

  •  it'll be all right guys (5+ / 0-)

    in a week or so Obama will give a typically eloquent speech about how he supports equality for all Americans but not gay marriage, his DOJ will let the briefs stand as is (while filing additional briefs with new, more odious arguments), and we'll all be left with a warm fuzzy feeling about how great an orator our new president is and isn't he a nice man? Not like that Bush. Who was so mean when he went about crapping on people's rights!

    "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

    by limpidglass on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 08:59:56 AM PDT

  •  LEAVE OBAMA ALONE! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tiponeill, esquimaux, Clarknt67, Curiosity

    Hope and change and change and hope and hope and change and change and hope and hope and change and change and hope and hope and change and change and hope and hope and change and change and hope and hope and change and change and hope and hope and change and change and hope and hope and change and change and hope and hope and change and change and hope and hope and change and change and hope and hope and change and change and hope and hope and change and change and hope and hope and change and change and hope and hope and change and change and hope and...

    Alert: a runtime exception has occurred. Fatal error11111

    The Obama Economic Policy: Save The Parasites, Kill The Patient | Blog: The Daily Elitist

    by TylerFromNE on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 09:03:07 AM PDT

  •  Gays starting to really fight back a.k.a. hit (15+ / 0-)

    them where it hurts, the pockets:

    Two prominent gay figures, activist David Mixner and widely read blogger Andy Towle, have pulled out of a Democratic National Committee fundraiser later this month amid growing calls to confront the administration at what was supposed to be its first large scale opportunity to bring in gay cash.

    "I will not attend a fundraiser for the National Democratic Party in Washington next week when the current administration is responsible for these kind of actions," Mixner wrote of a motion to dismiss a challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act that drew a parallel between same-sex marriage to incestuous marriage.  "How will they ever take us seriously if we keep forking out money while they harm us. For now on, my money is going to battles within the community such as the fight in Maine or the March on Washington! I am so tired of being told by Democratic operatives to 'suck it up' because so many other profound issues are at stake," Mixner wrote.

    "I've had concerns about the lack of movement from the administration on LGBT issues for some time now but I wasn't comfortable attending after that DOMA brief came out," Towle, who writes the widely read Towle Road blog, said in an e-mail.

    Prominent gay and lesbian bloggers are also pushing guests at the $1,000-a-plate dinner to turn up the heat on its hosts, out Reps. Barney Frank, Jared Polis, and Tammy Baldwin.

    "Please politely contact our out LGBT representatives on the Hill to ask them why they still plan to hold the event in the wake of lack of leadership re: DADT repeal and the horrible DOMA brief and 2) do they see anything problematic about financially supporting a party that runs for cover when our issues come up on the Hill," wrote Pam Spaulding.

    Americablog's John Aravosis writes:

       Please call Barney, Tammy and Jared and politely ask them WTF? It's been 5 days and none of them have said anything about this travesty, let alone why they're hosting the inopportune fundraiser - literally asking you to give Obama and the Democrats your good money after they've abandoned us - no - knifed us. It's clear to me that the White House asked them not to say anything, perhaps promising something in return. And before anyone just assumes that Obama privately promised them to move forward on gay rights, the president could have just as easily promised them a new highway in their state or to do a fundraiser for their re-election, provided they shut up. Their silence is looking very bad.

    The escalating tension sets the stage for an unusual conflict between the vice president and what has traditionally been a core Democratic group — and a wealthy one — at the posh Mandarin Oriental on June 25.

    •  Ther'll be a corporation that will happily buy (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Clarknt67

      the dinner ticket. If they want to give up their seat at the table, so be it. They'll have no trouble selling them, trust that.

      •  Gawd BBB - (4+ / 0-)

        You've turned rationalization into an art form.

        •  Youre either reality based or you arent. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Yoshimi

          If I were a politician and someone said "im not giving" my attitude is "fuck you" and shake hands with the next guy.

          If you don't see things from the politicians perspective, how you can ever hope to get them to do your bidding?

          Altruism? Love of the people? A sense of public service? LOL. I've been around local pols here in Brooklyn long enough to know that staying in office is an instinct every politician has as sure as he or she feels hunger.

          If these activists really want influence, they should INCREASE their giving, not withold it.

          •  Change? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            musing85, Predictor

            I thought Obama claimed he was different.
            Are you suggesting that his campaign was one big lie?

            •  Not at all. (0+ / 0-)

              But I'm suggesting that Obama is a politician and has never hidden that fact. He counts numbers. Every politician counts numbers. He never presented himself as an ideological firebrand, willing to go down with the ship. People who talk like that, I almost never trust. Not only because they get the least done, but also because they inevitably become blind to reality and this leads to dogmatic and irrational behavior.

              He counts numbers. That means numbers of votes. numbers of dollars. You show him where he wins, he's with you. You make moral arguments, you're a university professor with an interesting viewpoint, next topic.

              You know an argument I think he'd find persuasive? A whip count, and ad budget, and some good polling. This isn't a lost cause president who wants to earn sympathy chits by being the Buffalo Bills. He wants the rings, fuck the dumb shit.

              Stop all the "see...obama is not the messiah!!!!" stuff because nobody has ever believed that, especially his most loyal supporters. Rather, he's a politician who plays it on the level so we all know whats up. Show him how he wins, and he's with you.

              •  If You Believe This About Equal Rights - (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                musing85, Predictor

                He never presented himself as an ideological firebrand,
                willing to go down with the ship.

                Then I suggest that your commitment to equal rights is rather tenuous.

                In fact, since a majority of Americans FAVOR repealing DADT, it is hardly going down with the ship.

          •  We ARE increasing our giving (0+ / 0-)

            just not to these people who only support us as long as we give them votes and money.

            How does enabling those who refuse to recognize our civil rights help us? Why would I want to sit at the bigot's table when I could enable those who WILL stand up for our community?

            Like matter and anti-matter, Republicans and the truth seem unable to occupy the same space.

            by dykester on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 12:05:32 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  right (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Predictor, m00finsan

        because corporations just love controversy.

  •  Inadvertent 3d chess (7+ / 0-)

    In a backassward way, I think this brief is going to end up furthering GLBT equality. If the DOJ had just filed a dry brief with some of the less offensive legal language that people have pointed out was available people would have been disappointed and frustrated, but for the most part it probably would have ended there.

    As it is, this has created a backlash that shows no signs of dying down, and like Dean said is likely to force the administration to move faster on things like DADT and DOMA than they had originally intended. If you believe that they really do want to move on these issues, as I do, then it also provides them with a certain amount of political cover to move now as well.

    If I believed that all of the administration's actions were carefully planned and thought-out, I'd call this a move in 3d chess. As it is I think they really put their foot in it with this brief, and to manage the blow-back they will end up moving on some GLBT issues well in advance of what they had originally intended.

    Here's hoping for silver linings...

    "Mom, baseball, apple pie, and a unified Democratic juggernaut.

    by Purplepeople on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 09:06:54 AM PDT

    •  i actually agree with you (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eclare, pinkbunny, ElsieElsie

      and I think that in ten years we are going to have full equality for the LGBT community, at least on paper. But it would be wishful thinking to think that this is by design - I think O and his people are playing shortsighted politics here. I still support the President on the whole, but this has not been one of his best moments.

      •  I think it is triage (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        World Patriot

        I think that the calculation has been made that they can get health care reform now or never, and they are going full blast on health care. Everything else, except for trying to keep the economy from dropping dead and the SC nomination, is in a holding pattern.

        And so, at least in part because people are not paying a lot of attention, you get major snafus like this. Which might, in a very odd way, end up helping the cause of LGBT rights, because now something has to be done to put this fire out. Not because it is brilliant strategy, although I think the administration is good enough to make the best of a bad situation, but because they probably didn't have a gay lawyer look at that brief and tell them how badly this was going to go over.

        "Mom, baseball, apple pie, and a unified Democratic juggernaut.

        by Purplepeople on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 09:40:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  i basically agree with this too (0+ / 0-)

          but wonder if it is bad strategery. Easier to stop one bullet train than two dozen autos going in different directions.

        •  Why? (0+ / 0-)

          I think that the calculation has been made that they can get health care reform now or never

          Why?

          •  I don't know (0+ / 0-)

            But I've heard it said by multiple people. Maybe it is because they are coming off the wave from the election, maybe because the terrible economy has put it in the spotlight.

            "Mom, baseball, apple pie, and a unified Democratic juggernaut.

            by Purplepeople on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 11:42:38 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Or maybe because that's their talking point eom (0+ / 0-)

              Like matter and anti-matter, Republicans and the truth seem unable to occupy the same space.

              by dykester on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 12:08:06 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  That is my instinct too. (0+ / 0-)

                Especially since the people who are repeating it never seem to have any reason to back it up.

                I became suspicious of this meme in 2004, when Kerry campaign on making health care his first priority if elected. I remembered the Clintons rushing to push through a healthcare bill shortly after getting elected in a bad economy.

                I know CW on the left seems to be that a bad economy is an ideal time to push through healthcare reform, because "people are really hurting." I think it's a bad time, because the last thing most people want (rightly or wrongly) in a bad economy is a big new government program. I wasn't surprised when it failed, but I was surprised that they did not try again in his second term, when the economy was booming, his public approval ratings were sky high, and he didn't even have to worry about getting re-elected. In retrospect, this may have been about Hillary getting elected...it would take away of her stronger issues.

                In any case, it got me to thinking that maybe the whole point was to introduce a healthcare bill when it wouldn't pass, so then you could claim that you tried and move on.  All of these unsubstantiated "now or never!" claims keep reinforcing that instinct.

                http://www.dailykos.com/...

              •  Well, obviously it is a talking point (0+ / 0-)

                The question is whether it is true or not. The two only have passing relations with each other.

                "Mom, baseball, apple pie, and a unified Democratic juggernaut.

                by Purplepeople on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 12:35:40 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  Interesting perspective (0+ / 0-)

      I wonder if that's why Howard Dean is putting it out there??

      Well I am going to see what happens by 2010. Before I judge whether or not President Obama is a complete failure.

      I hope this does provide them a political cover and excuse, as the GOP does when they have to answer to their base with their votes.

      "Lead, follow, or get out of the way" - Thomas Paine

      by pinkbunny on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 09:41:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  GK Chesterson (0+ / 0-)

      Never attribute to malice that which can be accounted for by stupidity.
      ~ GK Chesterson

      •  Yup. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Free Spirit

        I think they just screwed up here. I don't think they deliberately set out to set off a firestorm with the gay community, when basic neglect would have sufficed if all they were trying to do was avoid acting. Instead they've stirred up a hornet's nest and are on pace to really get embarrassed at this fundraiser next week.

        Stupidity ftw.

        "Mom, baseball, apple pie, and a unified Democratic juggernaut.

        by Purplepeople on Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 12:42:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  It also what not winning looks like. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Yoshimi, ThisIsMyTime

    We need Dr. Dean's voice. But thats all Dr. Dean would be, a voice, without somebody with the political smarts to move things along.

    If Obama spoke like Dean we wouldn't even get a bill out of committee.

    Governing aint beanbag.

    Loved the clip though!

  •  thanks for the diary (9+ / 0-)

    It is so nice to see an alternate opinion on the brief make the Recommended list. I saw this interview last night and it was a relief to hear strong condemnation.  

    I guess on some level it still surprises me that people are surprised by how offensive that brief was to GLBT people.  And it is salt in wound to have it celebrated as the triumph of the rule of law by some.  

  •  There is no law stating (8+ / 0-)

    the DOJ must defend the previous stance of a previous administration on ANY issue. The DOJ, like most state and federal legal systems, have the option of not defending or prosecuting a particular issue. The DOJ under Holder, with Obama's blessing, is defending the bush position because it chooses to.
      The DOJ has no time to investigate bush and company as war criminals; it had plenty of time to investigate and overturn Steven's conviction but not enough resources to investigate the conviction of Siegelman; it can find resources to defend torture, illegal rendition, suppression of the Freedom of Information Act, and anything else bush and company started and Obama wishes to continue; I imagine the DOJ will soon be defending the right of the White House to keep visitor logs secret (see today's stories on Huffington Post).
       The only "change you can believe in" I'm seeing is Obama's willingness to sell out many of his voters (me included) in order to keep his popularity high (and please, no more of the "it's only been 5 months" crap).