Friday, October 29, 2010

“I have a host of friends who are...”

Last Wednesday the President met with five popular Progressive bloggers in the Roosevelt Room of the White House and answered their questions for about an hour.  We might have suggested some other writers whom he could have included, but his list represented a reasonable assortment of left-leaning bloggers.  And, wonders of wonders, the White House folks remembered to include a woman!  Here’s the list: 
Duncan Black (“Atrios”) from Eschaton [Here], Joe Sudbay from AMERICAblog [Here], Barbara Morrill from DailyKos, [Here], Jon Amato , founder of Crooks and Liars, [Here] and Oliver Willis, of Oliver Willis, [Here]
Nothing extraordinary or earthshaking was revealed but it was a good beginning for what we hope will be an expanded and ongoing discussion between Obama and the Netroots.
There was one extraordinary exchange during the interview which reveals much about Obama’s point of view about gay issues in general and same-sex marriage in particular.  (This is from Huffpost’s transcription of the bloggers’ interview of the President.  We presume that the question was from Joe Sudbay from AMERICAblog.)  [Here]
Q:  And this one is on the issue of marriage. Since you've become President, a lot has changed.  More states have passed marriage equality laws.  This summer a federal judge declared DOMA unconstitutional in two different cases.  A judge in San Francisco declared Prop 8 was unconstitutional.  And I know during the campaign you often said you thought marriage was the union between a man and a woman, and there -- like I said, when you look at public opinion polling, it's heading in the right direction. We've actually got Republicans like Ted Olson and even Ken Mehlman on our side now.  So I just really want to know what is your position on same-sex marriage?
The President:  I think it's a fair question to ask. I think that -- I am a strong supporter of civil unions. As you say, I have been to this point unwilling to sign on to same-sex marriage primarily because of my understandings of the traditional definitions of marriage.
But I also think you're right that attitudes evolve, including mine. And I think that it is an issue that I wrestle with and think about because I have a whole host of friends who are in gay partnerships.   I have staff members who are in committed, monogamous relationships, who are raising children, who are wonderful parents.
And I care about them deeply. And so while I'm not prepared to reverse myself here, sitting in the Roosevelt Room at 3:30 in the afternoon, I think it's fair to say that it's something that I think a lot about. That's probably the best you'll do out of me today. (Laughter.)”
I’m going to leave this where the President flung it...And I shall not comment further on this interview except to add that the group of 5 bloggers (4 men and 1 woman) were referred to by the President as “you guys.”  (I thought that form of a collective noun ended back in the ’60’s.)  
As for the President’s wishy-washy position on gay marriage, Blogger Taylor Marsh wrote an interesting comment/rant about Obama’s point of view. [Here]  Marsh sums up what many folks, including me, are thinking.  The comments to her blog are worth reading, too.  
It is hard to believe that President Obama ended the discussion of equal rights for gay partners with “it’s something that I think a lot about...”
Isn't that nifty and hunky-dory?

Who or what is the man afraid of?...

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