Friday, January 14, 2011

Obama's Opportunistic Bigotry

The Obama Administration has filed an appeals court brief defending the odious "Defense of Marriage Act" [sic].  This was in response to a lower court's finding that DOMA unconstitutionally discriminated against gays and lesbians.

President Obama, through his Department of Justice [sic] lawyers, makes three basic arguments to defend this law that expressly creates two separate but unequal classes of citizens in America.  First, he argues that Congress has a right to hide behind historical bigotry (preserve the national status quo), regardless of the consequences on individual citizens.  Second, he argues that Congress has a right to be lazy when presented with more than one option and, therefore, doesn't need to even try to respect advances in individual civil rights that arise in some, but not all, states.  And, third, he argues that Congress has the right to apply a lowest common denominator analysis when it comes to protecting the constitutional rights and liberties of individual citizens whenever the states disagree -- that is, Congress can arbitrarily waive the federal constitutional protections of specific individuals and follow the lead of the most bigoted state laws.

There are two kinds of bigotry.  The first kind (we will call it "Type A") is based upon the ignorance -- often willful -- of the bigot.  This individual believes what s/he believes and no amount of contrary evidence or argument will change this individual's mind.  The second kind of bigotry (we will call it "Type O") is displayed by President Obama and most other national politicians.  These individuals actually are aware that their stated position is bigoted.  They typically admit that their position is wrong in private and they rarely display this bigotry in personal relationships.  They only profess their bigotry in public order to gain the support (or ameliorate the opposition) of the Type A bigots.

President Obama, who formerly advocated in favor of gay marriage, has taken the side of the bigots in banning recognition of gay marriage because he wants to be re-elected in 2012.  No doubt, his personal "struggle" with this issue will resolve itself in favor of marriage equality once he can no longer run for office.

President Obama's defense of the Defense of Marriage Act reminds me of the old joke:  "Q: What's the difference between being black and being gay?  A: If you tell your mother that you are black, she will still love you."  As everyone knows, President Obama's mother was white, his father was black.  This background gave him an incredibly sensitive and nuanced understanding of racial bigotry.  Obama  also taught constitutional law at one of the best law schools in the country.  So we can assume he is aware of the Fourteenth Amendment ( "no state shall ... deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws").  Unfortunately, Obama grew up to be a politician.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not a bigot.  But being a politician is a life-style choice with serious consequences.  They shouldn't be allowed to teach.  We should pass laws to protect our children from exposure to these people.  And for god's sake don't let them get married.

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