But If You Guys Don't Vote For Us, The Other Guys Win!

Pre-emptively split from a reply to Urbanicus in the New York Times thread…

Voting for the good of everyone in the country is all well and good, but is that really the DNC’s pitch? “Vote for us, we’ll fuck you more slowly”? I mean, that has been their pitch since before I was born, except for Obama Take 1, which very quickly devolved into “Vote for the democrats, we’ll fuck you more slowly.” This wasn’t one election, this has been the last 25 years and people get tired of the Democrats’ platform for anyone to the left of the Tories being “Close your eyes and think of America.”

The civics textbooks tell you that the American two party system works because third parties influence the two major parties, when’s the last time you saw the Democrats take a Green plank? Like actually, really take one, not “Healthcare for everybody!” immediately followed by “Well it’s healthcare for everybody isn’t it? Everyone’s got to pay the health cartel for insurance now.” Maybe “we must take climate change seriously” then agree to a deal which doesn’t have sufficient limits to prevent the 2 degree increase and which doesn’t have any sort of enforcement mechanism for when the countries, while meeting their “obligations”, totally overshoot what could be allowed?

The democrats had the White House and the legislative in 2009. How many rich guys are in jail from the recession? O-oh, just the one who ripped off the other rich guys. Where were the massive retributional fines on these guys, maybe take some of the burden off the taxpayer for those stimulus packages? That’d be the fiscally responsible thing to do right? Make the people who made the mess help pay to clean it up. Nah.

But hey! They legalized gay marria-wai, that was the Supreme Court wasn’t it, not anything legislative…Granted, the administration did put one two person people on the supreme court.

Defense spending? I mean…yay? the Obama government brought us up to the highest spending ever before WWII (which was under his tenure) before bring it down to…the highest spending ever aside from that peak where we were blowing almost as much as we were in WWII.

On the topic of the military, that executive order did allow openly gay and trans people to serve in the military didn’t it? Sorry if I can’t get too excited at the prospect that now more people are allowed to sign up and shoot brown people for the defense contractors, or play infrastructure for those that do.

Sorry that I’m leaning so much on the last administration, it’s the only Democratic one in useful memory for me. Clinton signing NAFTA, there’s your 90’s freebie. I wouldn’t mind closing my eyes and thinking of England once in a blue moon, most people on the left probably wouldn’t, but THAT :clap:IS :clap: NOT :clap: A :clap: SUSTAINABLE :clap: PLATFORM . Offer something more than “but if you don’t vote for us, the worse guys will win!”

Bonus points: the good stuff that the last administration did. I didn’t actually start reading the news until mostly through it so I’m sure I missed things.




Definitely has some good things :+1: The list was a bit inflated though. There was stuff like “The administration supported the banning of conversion therapy” which links to the response that they had to make to a petition to ban conversion therapy. I don’t think there was any actual action, or at least the list doesn’t say so. The executive order for federal contractors was a good one, I looked back and indeed, sexuality wasn’t listed as a protected class back in 1999. Good on them there.

That one I found pretty rich though. Didn’t we make closer ties to Saudi Arabia that administration?

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Obama officially and explicitly came out against conversion therapy. Congress did not pass any legislative action against it.


Which is good, but in the same sense that I was talking about as a whole, if that makes sense; it’s not something to get excited about. Woo, the government comes out and condemns torture. That should be the bare minimum.


I suppose one could somehow feel justified in unworkably obsessing over the now exited crowd that didn’t denigrate/threaten consumer protections; environment, freedom of the press; people of other cultures/races; women; or side with/collude with the Russians… or one could more usefully obsess over the crowd now in power.


Oh, I do that too, it’s just that all of us on BB agree on that point :slight_smile:
I don’t pretend that this is anything less than a rant, it just really gets to me when people complain about those petulant people on the left not supporting the democratic establishment who hasn’t thrown them a real bone since before I was born. DoMA and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell one admin, roll them back the next, etc. (Yes, DADT was, strictly speaking, an improvement. Did Clinton push for real equality first? Did he fight for it? I genuinely don’t know off the top of my head; I was a baby at the time if that.)

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To add a bit (a bit too long to edit onto the last post, but it’s related…) I don’t care so much if the legislation doesn’t pass in the form I want. I mean, I do, but it doesn’t bother me that much if you actually made an effort. You go into your deal knowing that you’re going to be argued down. Don’t start with “This is what the republicans will find palatable” because they’re going to argue you down anyway, open with “Only gay people are allowed in the military.” …Okay, maybe not that far, but you get the idea :wink:

Time being the great equalizer (and all that), it’s not until later – when contemporaneous subjectivity and emotions die down – that political histories have a better chance of being fairly assessed and by “enough” dedicated bona fide historians. *In the meantime… it’s all just politics.

*There are one or two exceptions.


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Both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were quite openly against gay marriage until it became apparent that our grass-roots campaign had converted the majority of American opinion to favor marriage equality.

That’s fact, Jack.   Trivially easy for anyone reading this to independently verify it.

In both cases I think it’s fairly clear that their positions were never principled, but were cynically self-serving to an extreme. Obama, to his credit, admitted this on at least one occasion.

“I favor legalizing same-sex marriages, and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages.” -Barack Obama, 1996
“I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. I am not in favor of gay marriage.” -Barack Obama, 2008
“I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.” -Barack Obama, 2012

The Democratic Party (which is to the right, politically, of Ronald Reagan) is always ready to champion any social progress that at least 51% of the populace is already known to favor. And if a trend is clear, they’ll even get out in front of stuff early so they can loudly proclaim their righteousness.

And yes, the Republican Party leadership is clearly far worse than that of the Democratic Party. Yes, those members of the Democratic Party who supported Bernie Sanders’ attempted hijack of the Democratic machine are far more admirable than those members of the Republican Party who supported Donald Trump’s successful takeover of the Republican machine. But as @tekk said, that’s not enough. That won’t win the next presidential election.


I agree to an extent, but with that it’s too easy to fall into the trap of “nothing should have happened until it happened”. Fewer, as @Medievalist said, politicians on the right side of history when history already agrees with them, more LBJs passing the Civil Rights Act in the 60’s knowing that it’d doom the Democratic party for at least a generation because it’s the right thing to do.

Were there really no people saying that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell wasn’t far enough in the 90’s? How did the gay lobby feel about it, if there were even groups lobbying for gay rights at the time? Did they say that pushing for open service was too much? If that’s the case I can see a much better argument for DADT and DoMA being the best that you can manage at the time.

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To be clear: in context, he made it quite clear that this was his personal opinion, but that he also supported gay marriage, because it was the right thing to do. I dunno about you, but I find it quite honorable for a leader to support something they recognize is for the greater good while also explaining why their religious upbringing raises personal questions.


The full quote, for context. The question was what Obama thought of California Proposition 8, which defined marriage as being between a man and a woman:

Here’s the entire Q&A section for the curious.

He doesn’t make it clear at all that it’s his personal opinion and that gay marriage should be legalized. He makes it clear that he’s opposed to gay marriage, but thinks that states don’t need to amend their constitutions to clarify that marriage is heterosexual and that strikes him as wrong.

With regard to what I said before:
In 2014 the Clinton Presidential Library released many papers from early in the administration regarding the debate over don’t ask don’t. The link to them, however, is now dead. The article says that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was itself Colin Powell’s idea though, if indirectly.


I didn’t say that the full expanded quote explained his opinions.
In context of the legislation he supported and his other quotes at the time, he made it quite clear that he supported gay marriage despite his personal religious beliefs.


Oh sorry, thought you meant context as in it was misquoted, my bad :slight_smile:

I’d say that his record at the time made it clear that he was for partnerships and civil unions, but he was against the m word until it became clear that the court of public opinion would crucify him for anything less.

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“I favor legalizing same-sex marriages, and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages.” -Barack Obama, 1996


Even then:

a) The Civil Rights Act was not a great advance; mostly all it did was restore (on paper more than in reality) the rights established shortly after the Civil War.

b) The Democrats were already losing the Klan vote to the GOP before LBJ. Completing that process was as much of a tactical choice as an ethical one.


Agreed on both points, but they had the klan vote a while longer. I don’t expect them to totally ignore voting patterns necessarily, but the Civil Rights Act is probably the most famous piece of legislation that I can think of in the US with any degree of putting what’s right before what’s popular.


That pretty much sums up my complaint though. Pay lip service to the right thing to do, don’t do anything to further it, just say “when the republicans come for your rights, I’ll be here stalwartly keeping you just as oppressed as you are today and no more.” He’s not talking with LGBT leaders, he’s not saying how he’s talking about drafting legislation to legalize gay marriage, he’s not saying we should push for it at the state level, he says he opposes efforts to further prohibit gay marriage, which is already in that pseudo-legal gray area where it’s not prohibited but it’s not recognized by anything.

I think you’ve said before that you’re gay, and I assume you’re older than I am. Put yourself back in 96, do you read that quote and think “Wow, this guy is really pushing for my rights like he should be”? Maybe I’m just to cynical and not able to put myself in the mindset of the world where I was 1 year old (is this my coming out on BB? I think it might be…not gay though, pansexual.)

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Yes. He was speaking out in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage in 1996. That was an extraordinarily politically risky thing to do in the mid-90s. And when he was actually, literally pushing for my rights as president, I felt it more strongly.