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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advocate and the most pro-LGBT Senate and Congress int he history of the country, and Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell hasn’t been repealed and DOMA is still the law of the land,” Kors said.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Lawn fence of the White House today to protest the fact that the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy has not been repealed.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.

Wednesday: Q & A

I have been preoccupied by a number of ponderables in the past couple of days.  These questions have no clear answers so I’m putting them up with my preliminary speculation for the rest of the Conflucian community to complete.

1.) The Correntian crew has been musing over the interview that Barack and Michelle Obama gave Le Monde about their lives, personalities, ambitions and how they plan to keep their public and private lives separate.  So what, you say, it goes with the territory for a candidate and president elect.  True.  Except this interview was given in 1996.  Why was Le Monde interested in the Obamas in 1996 when he wasn’t even a blip on the radar screen and hadn’t won anything yet?  Let’s think about the implications.  Le Monde would have had to have known he existed.  He was just an obscure Chicago lawyer with no major accomplishments and no election victories under his belt.  Who the f%^* would have cared?  *I* had won more public offices by 1996 than Obama.  Le Monde wasn’t beating my door down for an interview.  So, the question is: who has been grooming him and for how long?

2.) It has come to my attention, don’t ask me how, that Gloria Steimen and Eleanor Smeal are none too pleased that some of us are not embracing the true feminism of Barack Obama.  We who have vigorously protested the amazingly moronic inaugural edition cover of Obama as Superman are making them angry.  And you don’t want to see 20th century superstar feminists angry.  They might just set out to teach us a lesson and elect someone like Myi2xu as the new president of NOW.  But seriously, what do they care whether some of us speak out?  What exactly is their problem?  Leaders lead.  They don’t cave to the gushy enthusiasm of their younger kool-ade drinking staff.  They don’t let mean spirited and spiteful Donna Brazile types wipe women’s accomplishments off the map in order to glorify one of her male proteges.  The pressure they are applying is really sickening and even less likely get them what they want.  Here’s the deal, get Obama off the frickin’ cover and stop acting like fragile flowers who now need a man to save your magazine.  And get rid of your Women’s Studies Scholars.  When it came to trolls, they were the worst.  We still have their email and IP addresses dredged up from our spam filter.  Talk about stupid elitists, they can’t think themselves out of a paper bag and your magazine is full of them.  Get some women from the hard sciences, who really know what it’s like to get through the obstacle course of male academia and industry.  We took out prerequisite Women’s Studies courses *and* calculus.  Ms. needs balance, not more humanities majors with affluenza.

3.) Barbara Boxer, bless her heart.  I don’t know the whole backstory of Boxer’s relationship with Hillary.  It could be that the messy divorce between Boxer’s daughter and Hillary’s brother have given each of them time to see each other off stage more often than working colleagues might otherwise have an opportunity to do.  But, seriously, WTF was that little speech about Hillary putting aside her ego all about?  Like, Obama doesn’t have an ego?  (Go back to item 1 in this list.)  He was giving an interview to Le Monde before he had screwed Alice Palmer out of her Illinois congressional seat or had won a single thing.  *THAT’S* ego, or the mighty hand of someone powerful working on his behalf.  Then Boxer goes on about the plight of women and she makes many good points.  But she has completely undermined Hillary’s ability to do anything about it because she has refused to let Hillary have an ego.  An ego is necessary if you want to get things done, Barbara.  You have to believe you have the abilities and can do it better than everyone else or who is going to listen to you?  There is such a thing as false confidence (see item 1 above) that comes with a personal belief in oneself when there is no evidence to back this up.  Such is not the case with Hillary Clinton.  Time and time again, she has proven herself to be the smartest, most diplomatic, most prepared person in the room.  We saw it again yesterday.

Over the past year, I have struggled to figure out just what it is about Hillary that drives most normal people to absolute paroxysms of spittle flecked insanity over her desire and ambition to pursue a higher office.  If it were really megalomaniacal egotism and  arrogance, I think we would have seen hints of diva like behavior in public.  But what I see, and many of us see, is a woman who is possessed of healthy self-confidence and who doesn’t really give a flying fig what you think of her.  That seems to be the trigger.  She is behaving exactly like a man would behave if he had the heart and mind of a president.  It’s disconcerting to the men, and particularly women like Boxer, Steinem and Smeal, who don’t know what their looking at.  What did they think they’d see when the first woman president presented herself?  Did they think she was going to be more nurturing, her voice more lilting?  Yeah, like that would have gone over well with the Obots.  Maybe it’s a generational thing for the Maureen Dowds, Sally Quinns, Steinems, Smeals and Boxers.  They were raised in a generation before mine and conditioned to think that women were not leaders.  That kind of conditioning can be hard to overcome even if you’re the head of a feminist movement.  It *feels* like the self-doubt you get when you think you’re a fraud and it’s only a matter of time before everyone figures it out.  Were they projecting onto Hillary in spite of all of the evidence they saw before them?  Whatever it was, Hillary Clinton did not meet with their mental images of a president but not because she doesn’t possess those qualities and characteristics essential to the presidency.  It’s just that they never thought that those things would look like Hillary Clinton.

Maybe Obama was on to something when he made that crack about him not looking like the dudes on the paper money.

In other news:

  • Tim Geithner, the incoming Treasury Secretary nominee who for some peculiar reason doesn’t like Sheila Bair, has failed to pay his taxes for several years.  Maybe my ex-SIL, the IRS agent could speculate why someone with Geithner’s money acumen would fail to pay his taxes.  But it sure doesn’t look good for this partiular nominee since all of our taxdollars, but not his apparently, are going to be riding on whatever decision he makes about the worst bailout bill ever.  I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that powerful Democrats in Congress, who like Sheila Bair and accountability, are starting to balk at Geithner and are threatening to give him a hard time during his confirmation.  Willie Makeit?  Betty Dont.
  • Glenn Greenwald is trying to talk sense into all of the Obots who are ready to slit their wrists over Obama’s “centrist” policies.  Glenn is being a bit disingenuous about it though.  He thinks that Obama signalled to everyone that he wasn’t going to govern as a lefty.  That’s true.  But most rank and file voters missed the part where he said he wasn’t going to govern like a Democrat.  The whole reason he was elected was almost exclusively because he was a Democrat and *not* a Republican.  If he starts to act like a Republican now, with stupid tax breaks and bailouts that favor the bankers and policies that say torture is Ok in moderation, then he is much less like a Democrat and voters will get antsy.  Of course, the Obots had it coming to them for being such belligerent assholes whose candidate could do no wrong.  But the average voter doesn’t deserve four years of Republican Lite when they voted for a revolutionary Change!™ agent Democrat.  (Note:  pay particular attention to the veto threat Obama has issued if the Congress doesn’t approve the next tranche of bailout money.  Overcoming the veto has to be done in a short timeframe with a supermajority.  And Obama was O. K. with this bill when it passed.)