Tag Archives: Barack Obama

My Wins Don’t Count?

Cross posted at Fukshot

Marlene says:

Unless you’ve been actively ignoring such things, you’ve probably gathered that the progressive left is more than a little disappointed with President Obama. The Gay left is especially disappointed. On the whole, I’m not. Perhaps that is a result of lower expectations, but I think it also has to do with the difference in how I value what the president actually has managed to accomplish.

I agree with the criticisms that this administration has been too quick to compromise with assholes and I agree that such compromises have cost more than they have gained. Bart Stupak should have been told in no uncertain terms that the DNC would fund anybody but him in his next primary challenge. DADT (“Don’t ask, don’t tell”) discharges should have been stopped by executive order on day one. The Justice Department should have declined to defend the Defense of Marriage Act. All of these things are true, but as a trans person, I’ve been helped more in the past year and a half by Barack Obama than I have been by decades of “help” from mainstream Gay and Lesbian organizations.

I can now get a passport without genital surgery. If I were a resident of another state, that would be my only access to legal ID that correctly reflected my gender. To paraphrase our Vice President, that’s a big fucking deal! That’s potentially lifesaving for many people who would otherwise be forced to out themselves in less than safe circumstances.

The Obama administration has a policy against federal employment discrimination on the basis of gender identity. It wasn’t really a campaign promise. It didn’t get lots of news coverage. It wasn’t a fight, just a policy change. It wasn’t an inclusive ENDA, but I blame Barney Frank for that failure far more than I blame the president. He wouldn’t have lost one vote, even mine, for not doing it. He did it anyway because he thought it was right. No other president has even said the word “transgender” in public. That’s a big fucking deal!

Obama has even appointed openly trans people to positions of power. He even took some shit for it and stood his ground.

I can agree with almost all of the criticisms of the President. I loathe his economic policy and his national security policy. I think he mistakenly treats the teabag wing like people who should be tiptoed around rather than people who should be called out on their shit. The list goes on. On the other hand, when I see him snarkily being called “our fierce advocate” by mainstream gay blogs, I have to grit my teeth a little.

The resentment that “LGBT” politicos have for the administration is not unfounded, but I can’t help but notice who is ignored when they tally up what has been done.

Thanksgiving 2009

Laurie and Debbie say:

There’s no doubt that 2009 has been a difficult year, but it still has a lot to celebrate, appreciate, and be thankful for.

Last year, we said “We have a sane man coming in to the American presidency. We have a smart man coming into the American presidency. We have the first African-American to come into the American presidency. (And they’re all the same person!)” And now he’s president, and he’s been president for nine months. There’s an African-American family living in the White House. That’s huge.

The movement that elected Obama hasn’t given up. Progressive groups like Move On!, People for the American Way, and many others are applying real pressure on elected officials, often cleverly. We’re particularly impressed with the Health Care Accountability Pledge, which is collecting promises for money to defeat any Democrat who “keeps health care reform from getting an up or down vote.”

It’s pressure like that that made it possible, even with the insurance companies funding enormous opposition, to get a health care bill passed in the House … and to get cloture on debate on a health care bill (without the nasty anti-abortion provision) in the Senate. Plenty of hurdles left, but we’ve crossed two where they wanted to stop us for good.

Kimberly Clark, world’s largest producer of tissues, has bowed to environmentalists’ pressure and is using sustainable forest management techniques, leading the way for other paper companies to do the same. And on a similar note, Bertin, world’s largest leather manufacturer, is not buying cattle from farms responsible for Amazon deforestation.

The Obama administration is trying at least some Guantanamo prison “detainees” in U.S. civilian courts! After as much as eight years of being confined and tortured without representation or protections, this is a small step in a crucial direction.

After twenty years of a shameful policy preventing people with AIDS from traveling to the United States, the Obama Administration has lifted the ban. Starting very early in 2010, your HIV status will not affect your right to visit the United States. It’s not about time, it’s long past time, but it is happening.

After an extraordinary battery of gender tests, Caster Semenya will be allowed to keep her gold medal and her prize money. We blogged about this story here.

The CIA is not immune any more. A trial in Milan, Italy, resulted in the conviction of 22 alleged CIA officers and agents, an American air force colonel and two Italian agents, who were convicted of kidnapping an Egyptian cleric from a Milan street in 2003.

Speaking of successful political pressure from progressives, Presente led a successful campaign to get racist, virulently anti-immigrant CNN anchor Lou Dobbs off the airwaves and . More than 100,000 people signed the petition, and Dobbs resigned “to take a more activist role” and is now talking about the Senate, and also the Presidency in 2012. Imagine the entertainment value of a Palin/Dobbs (or Dobbs/Palin) ticket!

Have a great holiday! We’ll be back early next week, when we’ll do a crosspost to the fabulous FWD.