• Tips gratefully accepted here. Thanks!:

  • Recent Comments

    jmac on Weighing the Benefits and Cost…
    Beata on Weighing the Benefits and Cost…
    jmac on Weighing the Benefits and Cost…
    Beata on Weighing the Benefits and Cost…
    Seagrl on Weighing the Benefits and Cost…
    Seagrl on Weighing the Benefits and Cost…
    Propertius on Weighing the Benefits and Cost…
    Propertius on Weighing the Benefits and Cost…
    Propertius on Weighing the Benefits and Cost…
    William on Weighing the Benefits and Cost…
    jmac on Weighing the Benefits and Cost…
    William on Weighing the Benefits and Cost…
    Beata on Weighing the Benefits and Cost…
    Beata on Weighing the Benefits and Cost…
    Beata on Weighing the Benefits and Cost…
  • Categories

  • Tags

    abortion Add new tag Afghanistan Al Franken Anglachel Atrios bankers Barack Obama Bernie Sanders big pharma Bill Clinton cocktails Conflucians Say Dailykos Democratic Party Democrats Digby DNC Donald Trump Donna Brazile Economy Elizabeth Warren feminism Florida Fox News General Glenn Beck Glenn Greenwald Goldman Sachs health care Health Care Reform Hillary Clinton Howard Dean John Edwards John McCain Jon Corzine Karl Rove Matt Taibbi Media medicare Michelle Obama Michigan misogyny Mitt Romney Morning Edition Morning News Links Nancy Pelosi New Jersey news NO WE WON'T Obama Obamacare OccupyWallStreet occupy wall street Open thread Paul Krugman Politics Presidential Election 2008 PUMA racism Republicans research Sarah Palin sexism Single Payer snark Social Security Supreme Court Terry Gross Texas Tim Geithner unemployment Wall Street WikiLeaks women
  • Archives

  • History

  • RSS Paul Krugman: Conscience of a Liberal

    • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
  • The Confluence

    The Confluence

  • RSS Suburban Guerrilla

  • RSS Ian Welsh

    • Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – December 4, 2022
      Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – December 4, 2022 by Tony Wikrent   Professional Management Class war on workers Railroading workers [Popular Information, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 11-29-2022] “The dispute boils down to one issue: paid sick leave. … Railroad companies have adamantly refused to include any short-term paid leave. That means rail wor […]
  • Top Posts

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs: “It’s the President’s Justice Department.”

I’ve been waiting for the W.O.R.M, but so far nothing. In his daily press briefing today, Robert Gibbs responded to a question by Jake Tapper on the Justice Department’s brief supporting the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA):

Q Does the President stand by the legal brief that the Justice Department filed last week that argued in favor of the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act?

MR. GIBBS: Well, Jake, as you know, the Justice Department is charged with upholding the law of the land, even though the President believes that that law should be repealed.

Q I understand that. But a lot of legal experts say that the brief didn’t have to be as comprehensive and make all the arguments that it made, such as comparing same-sex unions to incestuous ones in one controversial paragraph that’s upset a lot of the President’s supporters. Does the President stand by the content, the arguments made in that brief?

MR. GIBBS: Well, again, it’s the President’s Justice Department. And again, we have the role of upholding the law of the land while the President has stated and will work with Congress to change that law.

In other words, yes, the President agrees with the argument that essentially draws an analogy between incest and same sex marriage–the same argument used by the Bush Justice Department!

Here is the paragraph that Tapper was referring to (Warning, PDF):

The courts have followed this principle, moreover, in relation to the validity of marriages
performed in other States. Both the First and Second Restatements of Conflict of Laws recognize
that State courts may refuse to give effect to a marriage, or to certain incidents of a marriage, that contravene the forum State’s policy…And the courts have widely held that certain marriages
performed elsewhere need not be given effect, because they conflicted with the public policy of the
forum. See, e.g., Catalano v. Catalano, 170 A.2d 726, 728-29 (Conn. 1961) (marriage of uncle to
niece, “though valid in Italy under its laws, was not valid in Connecticut because it contravened the
public policy of th[at] state”)
; Wilkins v. Zelichowski, 140 A.2d 65, 67-68 (N.J. 1958) (marriage of
16-year-old female held invalid in New Jersey, regardless of validity in Indiana where performed, in
light of N.J. policy reflected in statute permitting adult female to secure annulment of her underage
marriage); In re Mortenson’s Estate, 316 P.2d 1106 (Ariz. 1957) (marriage of first cousins held
invalid in Arizona, though lawfully performed in New Mexico, given Arizona policy reflected in
statute declaring such marriages “prohibited and void”)

But President Obama himself made a statement about DOMA tonight at the official signing of a presidential memorandum to grant limited benefits the the partners of gay federal employees. In his remarks, Obama claimed that he will work with Congress to overturn it.

It’s a day that marks a historic step towards the changes we seek, but I think we all have to acknowledge this is only one step. Among the steps we have not yet taken is to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. I believe it’s discriminatory, I think it interferes with states’ rights, and we will work with Congress to overturn it.

We’ve got more work to do to ensure that government treats all its citizens equally; to fight injustice and intolerance in all its forms; and to bring about that more perfect union. I’m committed to these efforts, and I pledge to work tirelessly on behalf of these issues in the months and years to come. Thank you very much everybody, and with that I am going to sign this executive order.

Huh? Is anyone else getting dizzy? Should we start referring to the President as “Both ways Barack?” Because it sure seems to me like he’s trying to have it both ways. Is the LGBT community going to let him get away with it?

According to the New York Daily News, this morning

an angry, openly gay Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank lashed out over the legal brief, telling the Boston Herald, “I think the administration made a big mistake. The wording they used was inappropriate.”

But tonight, Barney Frank appeared with Obama at the signing of the presidential memorandum, along other openly gay Congresspeople and Joe Solomonese of the Human Rights Campaign and . Afterwards, Frank sent out a press release in which he reverse course and praised the Justice Departments legal brief in defense of DOMA.

“It was my position in that conversation with the reporter that the administration had no choice but to defend the constitutionality of the law. I think it is unwise for liberals like myself, who were consistently critical of President Bush’s refusal to abide by the law in cases where he disagreed with it to now object when President Obama refuses to follow the Bush example. It is the President’s job to try to change the law, but it is also his obligation to uphold and defend it when it has been enacted by appropriate processes. It would not be wise, in my judgment, for those of us who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, or who sympathize with the fight for our rights, to argue for a precedent that says that executives who disagreed politically with the purpose of the law should have the option of refusing to defend it in a constitutional case.”

Of course Frank may just be trying to rescue his big LGBT fund-raiser, which a number of prominent gays have already pulled out of.

You’ll have to excuse me, because I’m just a bitter, post-menopausal old woman who didn’t vote for Barack Obama in the primaries or the general election. One of my reasons for declining to vote for Mr. Obama was that I didn’t trust him on gay rights issues. If I could figure out that this guy was sneaky, underhanded and would throw anyone under the bus in order to advance himself, it seems like anyone could. But many in the LGBT community supported Obama and so did the Human Rights Campaign. Openly gay bloggers like John Aravosis passionately supported Obama and viciously attacked and smeared Hillary Clinton.

But John Aravosis has done a one-eighty recently too. Here he is today on Gibbs’ remarks at the press briefing today:

Yes, God forbid our president distance himself from a brief that argues that gay and lesbian marriages are akin to incest and pedophilia. I ask again, who is advising these people?


One more thing. The President will reportedly say tonight that he opposes DOMA. He’s not going to oppose the law however, he’s going to keep defending it in court. But in his heart he opposes it. Aw thanks.

And on Barney Frank’s quick turn-around:

I am simply astounded. Even more astounding is that Barney’s release sounds as if it were written by the White House. Their talking points are all through it, including the bizarre notion that somehow Obama would be as bad as George Bush if he opposed DOMA in court. (Repeating the lie that presidents never oppose existing legislation in court.) Joe and I already debunked that lie with the example of four court cases in which Reagan, Bush Sr, Clinton and Bush Jr. all opposed existing law. And what’s more, we published an essay by former senior Clinton White House official Richard Socarides explaining exactly how the president goes about telling the DOJ to oppose existing law in court. It’s not debatable, it’s what actually happens in the Oval office, and it’s not illegal – it’s a fact.

Well, I wouldn’t be surprised if the press release was written by the White House. Nothing would surprise me about Obama at this point, to be honest. Aravosis ends his rant by saying “We are on our own folks. The Democratic party has abandoned us.” Now he figures it out? Now that it’s too late.Nevertheless, Aravosis has done a great job of summarizing the issues in his posts today. I strongly suggest reading all of them.

Here is what the New York Times had to say about the Obama administration’s brief defending DOMA:

The Obama administration, which came to office promising to protect gay rights but so far has not done much, actually struck a blow for the other side last week. It submitted a disturbing brief in support of the Defense of Marriage Act, which is the law that protects the right of states to not recognize same-sex marriages and denies same-sex married couples federal benefits. The administration needs a new direction on gay rights.

And regard some of the arguments in the legal brief:

The brief also maintains that the Defense of Marriage Act represents a “cautious policy of federal neutrality” — an odd assertion since the law clearly discriminates against gay couples. Under the act, same-sex married couples who pay their taxes are ineligible for the sort of federal benefits — such as Social Security survivors’ payments and joint tax returns — that heterosexual married couples receive.

In the presidential campaign, President Obama declared that he would work to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act. Now, the administration appears to be defending it out of a sense of obligation to support a validly enacted Congressional law. There is a strong presumption that the Justice Department will defend federal laws, but it is not an inviolable rule.

If the administration does feel compelled to defend the act, it should do so in a less hurtful way. It could have crafted its legal arguments in general terms, as a simple description of where it believes the law now stands. There was no need to resort to specious arguments and inflammatory language to impugn same-sex marriage as an institution.

No kidding. But sometimes I think President Obama actually enjoys hurting people once he has gotten what he wants from them. He just loves to pull the rug out from under people.

You know, I wish I had been wrong about Obama. I wish he were really a “transformational” figure who would lead us out of the valley of Bush and into a new New Deal. But it’s just not gonna happen. These days, I feel as if I’m in a constant state of simmering rage alternating with the urge to break down and cry for my country.

If Robert Gibbs “mispoke” this morning, he ought to be fired. But we’ll probably just get another W.O.R.M. instead.

Please DIGG!! & Share!!

Add to FacebookAdd to NewsvineAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Furl

Add to: Facebook | Digg | Del.icio.us | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Furl | Newsvine

87 Responses

  1. When I first read this, I was just completely dumbfounded! That’s why I had to send it out to every one to see if they were reading it the same way that I was. I just couldn’t get pass it this creepy feeling that it just keeps getting worse!!!

    • Thanks for letting me know about it. I’ve been working all day on getting ready to start teaching tomorrow. I probably would have missed the story if you hadn’t told me.

  2. Ugh. I had canceled my membership to HRC after they endorsed O-Liar. I rejoined again this Spring. Now, I have to cancel again. What the hell is wrong with these people? It’s the “we have nowhere else to go” b.s. Then FIND/MAKE a new way! To support his double-speak is an exercise in self-loathing. Has there ever been any ambivalence in Hillary’s statements regarding gay rights? Not that I’ve heard, except she is enough of a politico to know that gay marriage was still third rail. When I heard Obama say that marriage was between a man and a woman “because God was in the mix,” I knew exactly how he felt about homosexuality. This has been confirmed in numerous ways. For Barney Frank and Joe Solomonese to sand there and enable his slippery lies is really pathetic.

    • I was never a member, but I used to get their e-mails. I cancelled after the endorsement.

    • It’s especially pathetic, because Barney Frank did support Hillary and he actually criticized Obama harshly during the primaries.

      • HRC also supported Hillary until she left the race. Same with the majority of the LGBT community.
        Most Gays seemed to switch to Bam after he stole the nomination from her, but many, like s close friend of mine, supported McCain instead because they said Bam couldn’t be trusted.

        • I thought HRC endorse Obama during the primaries. That’s why I cancelled their e-mail updates.

        • little – The HRC did not support Hillary during the primary from my view – just the opposite. Joe Solomonese and others bought the pony early when they saw how the wind was blowing. HRC at the national level is about the dinner and cocktail party invitations in the DC village – they don’t give a shit about the rest of us out here.

          And the LGBT younger generation was overwhelmed with false info by the Obama web machine. Dozens of his paid staffers were at various blogs self-identifying as gay (liars) and pushing the lie that Bill Clinton is the worst President in history for gays and false info about DOMA and DADT. Hillary got totally saddled with the false meme. At this time I doubt I could find 10 LGBT kids in my town under 30 that actually know the facts about the Clinton years as it relates to my community because they have been completely overwhelmed with misinformation and lies.

          And on another note. I read your post the other night about all generations needing to step up. For no particular reason it made me think about Hillary’s graduation speech at Wellesley. I pulled it out and read it for the first time in 15-20 years. Have you read it? I would love to hear your thoughts.

          • Boy-oh-Boy have you covered it spot on.

            Sat there tonight watching the writer for Milk (Lance Black so-and-so) tell how Clinton did horrible things in not promoting Gay Rights enough…

            Jeez, that was OVER A GENERATION AGO when the public was in a much different place than they are today… Clinton was WAY AHEAD of the curve on this subject (no one at that time even talked about Gay Rights in politics – and he actually DID something) – what he did should be heralded as courageous first steps – it would’ve been very easy to not do anything on the subject at that time.

            Fast forward 25+ years later, the public perception on this issue has changed dramatically, and Obama is in the same place as Clinton was WAY BACK THEN – only now, he’s BEHIND the curve… yet this ‘young’ Milk screenwriter still leaves room for excuse of Obama because he’s no different from Clinton…

            Yeah – if you get in your Time Machine maybe.

  3. “It’s the President’s Justice Department.”
    now that just about says it all one statement

  4. The thugs fron Chicago are ruthless when people stray from the party line. Claire McCaskill also “was straightened out” when she complained that Obama violated the law. Obama said he fired the old man from his job as IG because he’s “senile”. Claire said OK.

    • SHV:

      The thugs fron Chicago are ruthless when people stray from the party line.

      This is the “Chicago” way! I have lived in Chicago my entire life and I’ve seen some crazy stuff by way of politics. Nothing surprises me anymore. Obama is a product of “The Machine” and it boggles the mind that people refuse to see what and who this man is.

      Chicago politicians never..NEVER, stood for the people that sheepishly vote for them. We are so accustomed to being shit on here that we wouldn’t know an honest Politician if he dropped from the sky!

      I wish I could enjoy telling those that are upset with Obama, “I told you so!” But it is not funny when peoples lives are at stake. I wish they would have done their homework on this fraud. maybe then, they would not have had to feel the sting of rejection from one they so loudly championed!

      Obama never wanted to be associated with the gay community in any form. All he wanted was their money and votes. Now that he has gotten what he wanted, he quickly forgot all the pandering he did to that community and tossed them under the bus.

      Shame on him and shame on barney Franks for not calling him out on it!

  5. OT, but given our experience with Orange, I say Hillary knew EXACTLY what she was doing by wearing a green suit today. Speaks re: Iranian people at the end.

  6. That’s what’s so swell about Obama. He won’t just throw you under the bus, he’ll run you over 6 times, back over you 3, and then throw an anvil on top of you.

  7. He is the guy that commits to nothing.
    Did you hear how he stradled the fence on Iran.
    I can’t stand this kind of person…the one that slips through any kind
    of commitment.

    • I personally love people and am willing to forgive most things. But three things I cannot stand are cowardice, hypocracy and phonyness. Those three traits pretty much sum up his entire character. That, and the fact that he cares only about himself, is a pathological narcissist, is manipulative, and stand for absolutely nothing and has no principles.
      This is just unforgivable. It infuriates me.

  8. I got nauseous watching Barney’s spineless cave. The cynic in me says it’s the price he’s paying for Obama covering over his malfeasance with Fannie Mae, etc.

    I swear I often think Obama’s machine has dirt on some of these people. Some were political weasels all along, but some have drastically reversed themselves on things they’ve fought for their whole political careers. That doesn’t happen for no reason whatsoever.

  9. If he wants to repeal DOMA, what’s the hold up? Do we need to get out Bush’s flashcarda and explain he’s the President and Democrats control both houses of Congress?

    • He’s making it hard with the arguments he is using to defend DOMA.

      • LOL! The Democrats were all set to vote against it–then they read the brief. Ruh roh!

  10. Tapper’s been on a roll! Hope this isn’t a repost, but he covered Gibbs declared Ted Kennedy’s healthcare plan a kind of legislation non grata;

  11. I am off to bed comrades. Good night!

  12. I am off to bed, comrades. Good night!

  13. I can’t stand that mealy mouth mutha. Barney Frank is a sell out. Jesus, I can’t stand these people. Pathetic.

    • I’m not gonna defend the guy, but Obama has got to be bringing Chicago tactics against them. I’d say they deserve it, but Frank did support Hillary and none of the MA politicians who aren’t useless dumbasses were at all taken in by BO.

      • I hear ya. Obama plays dirty Chicago politics. He’s probably got something on him. Ugh, I hate that man and his wife.

    • I mean, you don’t do a complete turnaround in less than 24 hours and look like a damn fool on something you really care about unless you’ve had the hammer dropped on you.

      • Rahm probably slapped him around with a dead fish.

        • LOL I would love for Psycho Frat Boy to send me a dead fish. God, what arrested development losers these Obots be.

  14. But sometimes I think President Obama actually enjoys hurting people once he has gotten what he wants from them. He just loves to pull the rug out from under people.

    We knew this too during the primary. So far, he’s worse than Bush on the economy, civil liberties and GLBT rights. Who throws 12.8 trillion to the financial sector?


    As Mr. Obama finishes his fifth month in office and assumes greater ownership of the problems he inherited, Americans are alarmed by the hundreds of billions of dollars that have been doled out to boost the economy. A majority said the government should instead focus on reducing the federal deficit.

  15. I am so completely and utterly not surprised. Watching Obots stand up and notice and say something and get thrown under the bus is kind of like watching a shooting gallery with those little metal targets. Ping, ping, ping. At least some are starting to notice. The others still in delusion land are starting to sound more funny than irritating to me. Kind of like the really crazy right wingers like Beck. They’re becoming so over the top because of the level of delusion required that it’s sort of entertaining. Well, it would be if it weren’t so sad.

    • Lol! Love the shooting gallery analogi!

      I believe it’s healthy to at least try to see the comic aspects, when possible. And you are a great inspiration for that, Pirate 🙂 .

  16. Yes, it’s that he’s not come out and said anything about the briefing that says it all. I think I just lost an old (big time democrat) friend today over this issue.

    And this condescending little nothing offering is just too much. How dumb and desperate does he think we are?

  17. On DOMA…if all those folks were really serious about defending marriage, each state would not recognize any other state’s divorce.

    I am so sure BO’s peeps have something on Barney Frank. they have something on everyone. In fact, I think his handlers have something on BO too. I’d like to feel sorry for his figurehead ass, but I can’t bring myself to it.

    • That is a fantastic point that never occured to me!

      • Oh, I’ve thought it. I said from the beginning that there were shadows behind this man, pulling strings. I personally believe they have something on him that is reaaaally bad, and have OWNED and groomed him for years.

  18. So, did I miss the part of the evening where we all post in awe about BO’s prowess with flies?

    • LOL! I came here earlier expecting to see that. I was AMAZING! He dispatched that fly like no fly has ever been dispatched in American history. If it had been a mosquito, he would singlehandedly have cured EEE.

    • Not until he kills seven with one blow, like in the Hans Christian Anderson story.

      • It was the brothers Grimm. And you only beat me to it because I went hunting for the video!

    • The MSM is running around in an ecstatic chorus of “SEVEN WITH ONE BLOW!!”

  19. LOL! Evan Thomas defending himself for comparing Obama with God. He really didn’t mean it…


    • oh boy. It’s not easy to walk back a statement like “he’s sort of God,” but Obots always try.

      • You mean, he (Obama) is not above us right now? I think he does believe it, he just got some flack about saying it out loud. 😯 I mean, why be interviewed in BIG folk shows, about NEWS and say that and then wait weeks to do a retraction?

    • Thanks for the link – kinda fun…

      His explanation is even more painful than the original statement… he literally sinks deeper in the doo. Hopefully he sees that he should just shut up now.

  20. I don’t read Aravosis. His head was deep into where the sun don’t shine when it mattered. Now the Dear Leader is giving his finger to Aravosis. It’s a well deserved gesture.

    • OH YEAH! I can’t wait for the six month mark. Failbots will really be suffering!

  21. Ugh, Hillary fractured her elbow falling on the way to the White House.

    • Oh no!…Lord, it sounds like a freudian slip…

    • Ooh, I hope it’s not too painful.

      • Hopefully, they’re giving her good painkillers. She’s having surgery next week.

        • Surgery? Why does she need surgery?

          • That is what I read, but she won’t be having it straight away.

          • I’m not an orthopedist, but elbows are complicated–lots of critical structures in a small area–and often need to be approached surgically to maintain optimum joint range of motion and nerve health (which is critical for distal hand function as well.)

            Most of us never really think about our elbows but when they don’t work it’s really a challenge. I’m just glad it’s not winter, that would make it harder for Hillary.

    • Oh, that’s too bad. My mom broke her elbow during a fall and it was a difficult recovery. Elbows can be tricky, but she will get excellent care. Best wishes, Hillary.

    • MO was hiding in the bushes and stuck one of those big feet out and tripped her. 👿

  22. Iran A Nation of Bloggers Vancouver Film School VFS (Go Green)


    The Iran Movement is turning into a Rights issue and one of Women’s Rights too.

  23. I just saw a headline “Obama approves limited gay benefits.” if I didn’t know better, I’d think the MSM was losing its religion.

  24. Sorry, I can’t help myself when I say this (and Angie isn’t around anymore to do it): FUCK YOU BARACK OBAMA and all those who support you!

    Hello Melissa and Ellen – DO YOU STILL LIKE THE ASSHOLE NOW??????

    Ugh, I cannot stand this creep. Glad I live in Oz now.

    • May I second that motion scrubs57? Especially the “those that supported you” part with an addition for a large FU for those that now make excuses for his sorry ass.

  25. […] White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs: “It’s the President’s Justice Department.” […]

  26. There is not a single GLBT or group in this country that is not getting exactly what they deserved for throwing their support behind this CRUD that attracts flies.

    They stuck it to Clinton for the ohgiirrrlhessocute. How charming is that mountain for EVERYONE now?

    BTW – for every shell-shocked individual and group out there: Every department, including the State Department, belongs to the People Obama works for ! We had better snap out of it or get in formation with the rest of the flies.

  27. Every department, including the “Justice” Department belongs to the People Obama works for.

  28. Mr. Obama said. “Unfortunately, my administration is not authorized by existing federal law to provide same-sex couples with the full range of benefits enjoyed by heterosexual married couples.”

    And yet he is authorized to cover up torture photos…

  29. Great post BB. President Eddie Haskell.

    “I me mine” seems appropriate

  30. Gawd, but that sham of a man has raised talking out both sides of his mouth to an art form. It’s heartening that LGBT rights groups and liberal Dems are waking up to BO’s homophobia. Still it hurts that they have yet to acknowledge his misogyny.

  31. Aravosis’ pathetic “Who’s advising these people?”

    Nobody, Johnny boy. When somebody tells you who they are, listen to them.

  32. You know what’s funny. During the primary, Obama said that he thought marriage was between a man and a woman and somehow the gay community didn’t notice that he had belonged to a homophobic church for 20 years – now they are surprised?!?!? It boggles my imagination. They had the opportunity to actually vote for a candidate who had voted AGAINST DOMA in Clinton, but decided to tell themselves that Obama would (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) repeal DOMA, even though he said he didn’t support their point of view. Gee, I really don’t get why they are suddenly surprised.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: