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Let’s Hear it for Civil Disobedience!

Last night President Obama spoke at a fundraiser in LA for Senator Barbara Boxer. In what I see as a very refreshing turn of events, LGBT activists repeatedly heckled a clearly irritated Obama with calls for the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

Obama tried to calm the hecklers by claiming that both he and Boxer are on their side. Really? So what’s the holdup then? Here’s the video of the speech.

The action starts around 2:00 and then the crowd allows Obama to speak for a bit, then the heckling starts again. This time, the President asks the chanters “Do you wanna come up here?” It’s about time Obama started facing some tough audiences!

At the Atlantic, Chris Good reports: “Gay Rights Advocates Support the Heckling”

Two of California’s top gay-rights leaders said the heckling was by no means out of line.

“I think getting heckled is nothing compared to getting kicked out of the military and losing your job and getting fired simply because you’re gay, because there’s no federal protection, or getting denied Social Security benefits because the administration has made no effort to repeal DOMA [the Defense of Marriage Act] and has actually defended it in court,” said Equality California Executive Director Geoff Kors. Kors said he didn’t know the protest was going to take place.

“I think people are getting very, very frustrated that we have a president who promised to be a fierce advocate and the most pro-LGBT Senate and Congress int he history of the country, and Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell hasn’t been repealed and DOMA is still the law of the land,” Kors said.

Today, several Get Equal activists were arrested for chaining themselves to the White House Fence.

Six people in military uniforms, including Lt. Dan Choi, handcuffed themselves to the North Lawn fence of the White House today to protest the fact that the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy has not been repealed.

U.S. Park Police cleared the area and used chain cutters to place the demonstrators under arrest, CBS News White House correspondent Mark Knoller reports.

Choi, at left, is an openly gay Iraq war veteran and West Point graduate who has emerged as one of the most prominent critics of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, which bars gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military. Choi, who announced he is gay on television last march, was also arrested for chaining himself to the White House fence last month.

If you’d like to join Get Equal in their fight to repeal DADT, here is their website.

I’m sorry these folks were taken in by Obama’s act, but I’m very impressed with the actions they are taking now. It’s time for all of us to speak out and express our anger in civil, but attention-getting ways.

You can treat this as an open thread.

97 Responses

  1. It’s about time someone made that smarmy liar uncomfortable.

  2. Good on them! Oh, and there was a follow-up story to the video of the protestors at Lafayette Park. Seems their peaceful protest was getting some play in the media, so what did the park police do? They tossed out the media and would not let them cover it. I don’t recall that happening before. It’s pretty chilling. Obama must be feeling really insecure these days.

    • I heard about that. How creepy! Obama IS worse than Bush!

      • You can hear one reporter at about 30 seconds in incredulously ask, “Have you seen them ever do this before?” This is not a normal thing.

    • God, that’s scary.

      Also, I keep seeing people leave nasty comments about the reporter’s comments about kicking the public out being fine, but let the Press do their jobs. GAH! Do people no longer have ANY understanding of the special role of the press, or do they think the news is just really Boring Reality TV?

    • I don’t think even bush closed the park did he?

      • I think they did once, when a very large anti-war rally was getting vocal and crowded. I totally disagree, but they could at least make an argument that there were safety concerns. But closing it just to keep the media from filming a small handful of protestors? Never to my knowledge. That’s pretty extreme.

  3. Here’s a comment from TGW expressing the Kool-aid talking points:

    Happy Black Guy
    Meanwhile, for those actually paying attention to the mechanics of what it will actually take to get this done, the Evil Ms. Magazine notes this week the following:

    “House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said yesterday that the House will likely consider legislation to establish the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) sometime this year. Hoyer toldCongressional Quarterly, that “both of these issues are not new issues, and I frankly think that they’re going to be resolved, and I think the American public is there as well.” He reportedly acknowledged “some controversy” on both issues, but said he doesn’t think there is “nearly as much controversy as there was.”

    ENDA, sponsored by Representative Barney Frank (D-MA), will ban employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The bill exempts small businesses with fewer than 15 employees, the military and religious groups. ENDA defines sexual orientation as “homosexuality, heterosexuality, or bisexuality” and gender identity as “the gender-related identity, appearance, or mannerisms or other gender-related characteristics of an individual, with or without regard to the individual’s designated sex at birth.” A congressional hearing was held on ENDA in September 2009.”


    Military gay rights groups understand the hurdles Obama is navigating and, instead of blasting him, are offering way that he can pull this off:

    “The challenge for pro-repeal advocates, Sarvis said, is finding a way to reconcile the president’s stated goal in the State of the Union with the secretary’s desire to have the remainder of 2010 to finish the study. Sarvis said his organization and other groups are working to bridge that gap. Servicemembers United, a gay veterans group floated a plan earlier this year that would legislatively lock in repeal this session but respect the implementation timetable laid out by Pentagon officials.”


    But maybe the thinking is that Servicemembers United are into stalling the repeal because they don’t support gay people?

    This is not as easy as flipping a switch. I wish it was but it is not. That’s why the statements you hear demanding immediate resolution are out of touch with practical realities. And how long did it take Clinton to implement DADT again?

    I’m a straight, white male so I’ve never had to endure discrimination or second-class status. But if I was being denied equal rights i wouldn’t appreciate being told I had to wait to get them.

    If someone told me to be patient I would tell them “Fuck patience, I want my rights and I want them NOW.”

    • that’s called still waiting for the unicorn that shits precious stones

      • oh and he’d still be waiting for a seat at a diner in Woolworth’s and I’d be bemoaning the fact I can’t vote if we’d take that strategy, just sayin’

        • Yeah, begging respectfully for crumbs is SUCH a successful strategy. Don’t you remember all of those suffragettes weeping quietly into their handkerchiefs and hopefully baking the men’s favorite pies until they came through with the vote?

      • Dakinikat, you still have a special way with words. 🙂

        Precious stones indeed.

    • Absolutely. They have waited long enough. Obama is a liar and he is letting people be driving out of the military for no good reason.

    • It’s not only a question of patience, either, it’s a question of promises. Obama specifically campaigned on ending DADT, and used it repeatedly to take a swipe at the Clintons. It was not some little aside that they just assumed he was “vaguely in favor of”, it was a MAJOR campaign talking point that he stressed in speech after speech.

      So to treat that community now as if they are being somehow unreasonable and impatient is just a slap. If it wasn’t urgent and important, then why did you spend so much damn energy repeatedly villifying Bill over it on the campaign trail?

      • why did you spend so much damn energy repeatedly villifying Bill over it on the campaign trail?

        ‘Cause the only way he could win was to lie and cheat.

    • What a fuckwad. Fuck him and fuck patience.

  4. It’s not like it will get easier after the GOP retakes Congress next November.

    • Exactly! And what they are waiting for, I’m sure.

    • Oh, that’s what he’s counting on. He’s delaying and foot-dragging so he can blame it all on the evuhl Republicans. Watch. He won’t do jack shit until he has political cover to wash his hands and say “Not my fault.” The day there is a Republican majority is the day he will make a ZEALOUS and PUBLIC push to repeal DADT, knowing full well it will safely fail.

      • I would give a lot to see the GOP call his bluff on it. Like there’s a chance of that happening. yuck.

        • Roughly 40% of the R rank and file is now in favor of repeal. And of those opposed, another percentage (can’t remember the number) is not adamantly opposed on principle – they just have concerns about the logistics of housing, etc, and are wary of making what could be initially disruptive changes in the midst of wartime. I think those are valid (though vastly overblown) concerns that if addressed reasonably could sway more to our side.

          What would be weird would be if the R’s got around to doing this before the Dems did, after Dem majorities now for 4 years. At the rate things are going, it could happen.

        • I would laugh myself to death if Cheney started lobbying for it.

  5. Talk about hollering–he’s the one hollering. He really needs to lower his voice a couple of octaves.

    This same scene played out in MA. He was at a Coakley rally; got heckled; lost control; walked away from the podium and returned.

    He’s a liar and I hope he gets dumped on everywhere he goes.

    I read that he’s returning to CA in May for Call-me-Senator Boxer.

    • Boxer was no help in fighting the Stupak mess. If I lived in CA, I’d vote against her. I’m getting to the point where I think I should just vote against every incumbant.

      • me too…vote them all out…let’s start over…

        O talks the talk and then walks away…
        Promise this, reneg on that…
        Act as ‘I’ say, Not as ‘I’ do…

        like with this bank reform charade…
        Bad Cop, Good Cop…
        O yells and attacks and Geithner cleans up after him…
        …don’t worry GS…we’ve got your backside…

        • It’s pathological how easily he lies–about stuff that can be fact checked as fast as you can say nexus lexus.

          As I commented elsewhere, in ’12 BO has to run against himself. He is no longer a blank slate.

      • Me too.

    • one of my favorite fantasies is Obama getting heckled and saying something really rude such as “listen you ugly old white woman….:

  6. yea Boxer taked a big talk but when push came to shove
    she laid down a vote for it just like the rest of them.

  7. This civil action is really inspiring. How long before they find a way to smear them as rac*st?

    • Check out the article on this on Huffpo, it’s already happening.

      • It’s great that it’s all our fault because we’re not holding his feet to the fire, yet when anyone tries, the roof falls in. They’re eeevvvillll. Rather insoluble dilemma, that.

    • It’s great that they chained themselves to the WH fence. Very classic and an homage to the suffrage movement. Wishing them good luck in their fight.

  8. Both houses of Congress and the executive branch…and they have to “study” it. What have they been doing for the past 8 years then?


  9. What a jackass.

  10. Limbaugh was playing clips of the chanting today.

  11. I was very happy to see this and previous actions. And the obvious be patient, president’n is hard, let’s wait ’till after the elections — when with a close to even or even repub house, none of this can happen. I’m very happy to see people finally noticing the truth. Would have been nice if they noticed 2 or 3 years ago of course.

  12. In the meantime the apparatchiks and obot shills like Joe Klein are going on talk shows and accusing people of sedition. I’m no fan of rightwing pundits, but sedition, really? Whatever happened to the concept of free speech?
    This administration and its enablers will demonize anyone who disagrees with them. It’s scary. First they came for the tea-partiers…

    • Joe Klein ? When I think how that bastard did all he could to undermine Bill for YEARS….Hey Joe! I got your sedition right here.

    • I agree. What a bunch of whiners. I bashed Bush for 8 years, and rightfully so. I didn’t notice them calling anyone out for sedition when that was happening. They completely undermine their own credibility with their hypocrisy and self-serving accusations. That’s why the mainstream media is dying. Good riddance.

      • Yeah, me too. I called Bush every name under the sun, as did MOST of my fellow liberals. We talked repeatedly about “taking our country back”. Hell, my initials, WMCB, stand for Want My Country Back! We marched with signs calling Bush’s actions illegitimate, and his power grabs fascist. The rhetoric over the Patriot Act was VERY extreme on the left, and rightly so. We were openly ANGRY, and anyone who says we all sat around making thoughtful, measured, careful statements of dissent is simply fucking LYING.

        But suddenly, saying or printing those sorts of things about Obama is “seditious” and dangerous and unhinged? Even if you don’t agree with the protestors, this prim fainting couch shock and outrage of the media over the “tone” of the tea party protests, from the SAME people who called Bush the devil and hitler-esque and Cheney Darth Vader is a total crock. This is America. You can call the president a flaming asshole all you want. You can be FURIOUS at your government, and say so.

  13. I thought he was such a jerk, clearly in ass-mode: his defensive: what are you angry about? We’re both in support of the repeal!!

    Maybe because you’ve done F*** ALL about it!!!! It’s easy to SAY you support this or that – but words are not deeds. That he clearly expects everyone to be placated with his stupid rhetoric makes me ill. How dare he? Does he really think we’re that stupid? It’s insulting.

    However, considering what’s up in Sonoma County, the repeal of DOMA is even more pressing? I dunno, just shut up or put and repeal both already.

    • Obama’s problem is that he simply does not understand the distinction between “just words” and actions.

      • Why should he? He’s gotten away with it for years. Nice to see someone finally sticking it in his face. If anyone dares to question him, he immediately gets that pissy defensive tone. I always think of the debates, and how he responded to Hillary’s strong, factual and confident challenges. What a spoiled brat.

  14. I watched a clip of the arrest of these military protestors, a CBS vid on Breitbart TV. It was a link a poster provided over at John W. Smart. The comment section after the video was appalling, some of the most hateful stuff I’ve read [since the 2008 primary and GE, the attacks against women, that is].

    I’m not sure what’s happening in the country but when several posters [hiding behind their tag names, of course] can spew something like:

    “These people should be charged with impersonating military personnel and then be charged again with impersonating human beings.”

    we’re reaching a dangerous and despicable low. I couldn’t get over the pure hatefulness of the commentary. Sad times!

    As for the President? He’s not holding up very well. Why am I not surprised?

    • CNBC breaking news has an article Testimony by Paulson & Co could undercut government’s case against Goldman Sachs.



  15. I couldn’t even listen to him being heckled. I just hear blah-blah-blah, canned speech crap from him. It’s the same reaction I had to Bush. MEGO.
    If it weren’t for the huge social engineering network he has supporting him, would Barack Obama leave a trace?

    • Heh. Social engineering network. Good one RD.

    • Me too. I stopped listening to him a long time ago. What’s the point? It’s all lies and narcissism.

    • Just a stain

    • He reads speeches other people write. He offers ideas that someone else (in the GOP) thought up. He claims credit for bills that other people championed.

      Take away the highly paid political advisors, the Wall Street money and the fawning media and all you have is a mediocre plagiarist.

  16. Interestingly, he seems to even get pissy just like W when encountering opposition, reminding me of that apt moniker “Little Lord Pissy Pants”
    Further exploring the disappearance of Goldman sachs from the media

  17. I’m surprised Obama didn’t freak out and call the protesters “retards.”

  18. Sorry to expose my ignorance but what is TM?

  19. I’m sorry these folks were taken in by Obama’s act, but I’m very impressed with the actions they are taking now.

    Who are “these folks” that you’re referring to? Because most of my gay and lesbian friends voted for Hillary, as I did here in California. You may recall that California voted in favor of Hillary by a large margin, over ten percent. If “these folks” is John Aravosis, fine. But otherwise, please do not make a sweeping generalization about the gay and lesbian community and who they supported for president in 2008.

    “These folks.” YUCK.

    We “folks” are as diverse in our beliefs as any other group.

    • You can’t find any enemies to fight so you go after your friends and allies?

    • Yeah… With you all the way cc. Winced when I read “these folks” as well but for same reasons you state. Somehow some people seem to think the lgbt community en masse worshipped at the %#*^+ altar of idiocy and backed Obama. Not so…. No, no, no… Majority of lgbt vote went to Hillary.

      In BB’s post however, I think “these folks” might apply to that get equal group… One of the orgs behind these protests is still buying the Bo bs to some degree.

      Rock on

    • I had the impression John Avarosis and pretty much everyone on his progressive blogroll supported Obama in the primaries. I assumed that’s who dak was referring to, the political bloggers. Also had the impression that the overall LGTB vote tipped in favor of Obama by the end of the primaries, from what I remember, and that mirrored the general population. It was close obviously.

    • most of my gay friends supported Obama because of Evil Bill Clinton and DADT and DOMA…refusing to admit that he had no choice (passed both so that worse legislation was stopped) and also that Hillary is an actual separate person from Bill.

    • I have to say that the Queer community in Seattle was overwhelmingly in favor of Obama right from the get go, and certainly showed no concerns about him in the primary or the general. I was pretty alienated, so I remember it well.

      Also, I think “these people” refers fairly specifically to Obama’s disappointed ex-supporters who are now demanding he live up to his promises, regardless of whether they’re Queer or not.

  20. OT, but since there isn’t a morning post yet:

    Senators Seek Cash as They Mull Rules
    Both Parties Have Held Dozens of Fund-Raisers on Wall Street While Fashioning New Regulations for Financial Markets

    Lawmakers in both parties have been raising hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from Wall Street in recent months, offering the industry access to members of Congress who are working on legislation that could alter the rules for American finance.

    Raising campaign cash on Wall Street is a year-round activity for lawmakers: Companies and executives in the financial sector are the second-leading source of campaign money for all candidates for Congress, behind the health-care industry.

    Democrats have long received the lion’s share of campaign donations from Wall Street. President Barack Obama received nearly $15 million in the 2008 presidential campaign from the securities and investment industry, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Republicans have noted that Goldman Sachs employees gave Mr. Obama nearly $1 million during the campaign, making the company his second-largest source of donations. Mr. Obama hasn’t said if he would return the Goldman donations in the wake of recent allegations against the company.


    • Why don’t these guys just post a listing on an auction site, since they are for sale to the highest bidder?

  21. How dare they treat their master that way! (LOL).

  22. Where are the A-listers on this story? Other than the LGBT blogs and some former HRC supporters like us, it’s crickets.

    They have a funny definition of holding Obama’s feet to the fire.

    • Crickets on Americablog though.

      I assume holding Obama’s feet to the fire == make sure and keep our advertising money coming for the next election or we’ll turn on you.

      Not that it matters, since they’ve already neutered themselves.

  23. Venting: I’m almost done with a second bachelor’s degree, this time in biology. I found out I need 2 stupid humanities credits. I thought, gee, I’ll take a Photography class (cuz I LOVES me some photography!). Turns out the photography instructor essentially doesn’t grant A’s.

    Why in God’s name would a photography instructor in a 100-level course not grant any A’s. Does he imagine that he’s teaching Master’s thesis or something? How bad will it look if I screw up my 3.97 GPA with a 100 level Humanities course? Sheesh!

    Anyway, looks like I’m taking History of Rock and Roll….

    • Oh, and to make this civil disobedence related: EFF instructors who don’t grant A’s.!

    • Although I don’t support the methodology, my guess is that he only wants people who really want to take the course to sign up. I needed a history course that included the US constitution to qualify for my teaching cert, and I elected to take the History of American Politics. My adviser advised against it because the prof seldom gave out A’s. I went ahead anyway because I heard it was a great course, busted my ass, and got the “A”. But there were no students in the class who were looking for an easy grade, and that’s part of what made it a good course.

      • It’s not a case of seldom. It’s a case of never, except in the case of a few “talented” students, read “fine arts students”. Lack raw talent? Don’t get A.

    • like my art teacher in HS who would never give a 100% on a project…. because “none of you are Picasso”, he probably figures that a photo can always be improved.
      Take something else.

    • Because he doesn’t want a studio full of students who only signed up for an easy A? Good photography requires time, attention and the acquisition of some specialized skills. Perhaps this prof thinks it deserves to be pursued for its own sake, not just to prop up someone’s GPA.

      • Kay, I wasn’t looking for an easy A or I would have majored in something other than Biological SCIENCE. But a teacher of a 100-level humanities course who doesn’t give A’s at all is just a self-important bastid, IMHO. If you could put on your transcript notes about instructors’ grading philosophy then it wouldn’t be so bad.

        People, puh-lease, don’t miss my point.

    • Professors who as a matter of principle “Don’t give As” are IMHO evil. I get not giving them out EASILY. But grades should be dependent on the quality of the Student’s work, not on the professor’s philosophy of grading.

  24. News post up.

  25. If hillary got heckled, I wonder how you folks would react?

    I am thinking the response would be slightly different. Lots of talk of lack of respect and sexism and such.

    Just a guess.

    • It depends on if the heckler is saying something like “iron my shirt” or if it’s actually some one with an issue trying to get her to follow through with a promise so far, hecklers on Hillary haven’t been folks reminding her of a campaign promise she made and then thwarts the passage of a law meant to pass and keep that promise. That’s not ‘heckling’ that’s remind some one of their hypocrisy … he promised to get rid of DADT and now he’s working to stall the legislation … I call that ‘heckle worthy” and no one said anything racist to him at all … they’re mad because he only follows through on promises to rich corporations and not people.

    • Get lost, dipshit.

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