Politics – Obama Vs. The Gays

“Of course we take you for granted! What are you going to do? Vote Republican?” – Bulworth

There’s nothing more brutal in American politics than being a true minority with only one option. Sure, you can puff up your chest and point out how much money you’ve made, but the sad fact is, you need them more than they really need you. Which is the position the gay community finds itself in with Obama.

I’m unsure why anybody thought Obama’s election would be a decisive stroke for gay rights. Leaving aside for a moment the fact that the black community is roughly as comfortable with its gays as your average person would be on a bed of spikes, Obama’s public discussion of gay rights had been fairly limited over the election, and he’d pretty much come right out and said gay marriage made him uncomfortable.

Add to this that the gay community is, well, pretty small. Depending on who you ask, the total number of gays in America range from 1 to 10%. The black vote is bigger and more important, and how often does the government screw them over? True, they raised a lot of money for Obama, and there are plenty of straight people who support gay rights.

But what, really, is the gay community going to do if they don’t get their way? I support gay rights, but I’m going to be blunt here: if the choice is between Obama and, say, Mitt Romney or Sarah Palin as Commander-In-Chief, I’m just not thinking about their gay-rights track record. I’m thinking more about the pants-shitting terror of a power-mad complete fucking moron with their finger on a red button.

And that’s really the rub, here. Obama may not have a great record on gay rights, and he probably won’t for the length of his time in office. But it would still be a lot better than anybody the GOP puts up. The GOP has gone further and further to the right, not to mention slowly insane, and it’s starting to get to the point where I am genuinely worried about the health and safety of my straight friends who are Democrats in the Southeast. Now imagine what they’d do to the gay community if they took office. For the gay community, it’s really a case of “The enemy of my enemy…”, and I just don’t see that changing until the GOP either changes direction completely, ditching social conservatism, or implodes and a new political party rises from the ashes.

There’s also a level of unreasonable expectations. Sure, Obama could reverse “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”. And there’s excellent reason, militarily speaking, to do so; it’s a joke of a policy at this point. Recruiting levels are so low that frankly a Pride parade could march into a recruiting office and walk out newly minted members of the American armed forces. Most military personnel genuinely do not care, and even Republican scions like Barry Goldwater thought caring about a soldier’s sexuality was ridiculous. While it’s still not easy to be openly gay in the US military, it’s a substantial improvement over even ten years ago.

But say he does that. The far right already shits bricks when Obama takes a day to go try and get the Olympics. Joe Wilson raised a million dollars by saying “You Lie!” in the chambers of Congress. What are they going to do if DADT gets reversed? Strategically speaking, it’s a bad idea. It would mean more money and a more energized base for the GOP, which is, quite frankly, about the last thing America needs.

So the gay community is, like it or not, stuck with Obama, and the Democratic Party, for the long haul. Just remember, folks, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

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