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      A lot of mistakes come from assuming rationality means “thinks the same way I do” rather than “reasons from premises I might not share.” Left than 1/1000 economists predicted the financial collapse, because they reasoned from assumptions like “the market is self-correcting” or “housing prices never go down.” (Sometimes both at the same time, which is rarely […]
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Friday, Friday

Before I head on down to the basement to do more painting, and more painting today on the hallways (gosh, I’m beginning to sound like Lambert and his endless painting chores), I’d just like to clear something up about Obama’s sudden revelation about marriage equality.

He came out for marriage equality.  Good.

He also said it should be left to the states.  Bad.

He said it should be left to the states *after* it had been defeated, stomped on, drawn, quartered, burned and left on a pole at the state house in Raleigh, North Carolina.  So, he took no risks by saying he was for it.  In fact, one might interpret his timing as a tacit approval of the actions of the conservative voters of North Carolina.  {{wink, wink, say no more, know what I mean, gov’nah?}} This way, he risks nothing.

So, why bother? It’s because he LGBT community was pissed at him for not preventing discrimination in government contracts, which, in my humble opinion is just as important.  From Greg Sargent’s post on the subject a few days ago:

Some leading gay and progressive donors are so angry over President Obama’s refusal to sign an executive order barring same sex discrimination by federal contractors that they are refusing to give any more money to the pro-Obama super PAC, a top gay fundraiser’s office tells me. In some cases, I’m told, big donations are being withheld.

Jonathan Lewis, the gay philanthropist and leading Democratic fundraiser, is one of many gay advocates who has been working behind the scenes to pressure Obama to change his mind. When Obama decided against the executive order last month, arguing that he would pursue a legislative solution instead, advocates were furious — such a solution will never pass Congress, the executive order has been a priority for advocates for years, and the move smacked of a political cave to conservatives who will not support Obama no matter what he does.

I’m sorry, but there is absolutely no excuse for him not to sign this executive order that has been hanging around for years.  In the four years that he’s been in office, he could have pursued a legislative solution but he hasn’t.  So, why not just sign the order?  Isn’t discrimination a bad thing, especially when it comes to government contracts?  Presumably, we want the best contractors to do the work for our country and some of them might be gay.  How can it ever be right to not hire or fire a person who is doing good work for you simply on the basis of sexual orientation?  I find it inexcusable, like keeping the Bush Conscience Clause on the books until three years after his inauguration.  Three fricking years.  And he only rescinded it in the midst of that stupid battle with the red beanie boys over birth control.  That conscience clause was severely impinging on women’s access to reproductive health measures and he only partially rescinded it.  Why did it take him three years to rescind a hated clause that his predecessor put in to please the religious right?

THREE YEARS.  Unbelievable. Ms. Magazine’s superfeminist shouldn’t have waited past the inaugural balls to rescind that wretched thing.  But Obama?  Where was the rush?  The immediacy?  Where indeed.

So, Obama was looking at a shortfall in campaign contributions.  To get back in the LGBT community’s good graces, he came out for marriage equality knowing very well that his endorsement was coupled with the idea that states could do anything they damn well please.  This cost him nothing politically.  The social conservatives who weren’t going to vote for him before aren’t going to vote for him now.  The social conservatives who like him but don’t like marriage equality know they can vote against it and Obama doesn’t care.

The only people who were hoodwinked and bamboozled by this are Obama fans.

Yes, it’s a victory for the LGBT community.  They’ve eeked support out of a sitting president. It’s too bad it came so late in his first term, has no teeth, doesn’t precipitate a move of the 2012 Democratic National Convention from North Carolina to some other state, like Vermont, and was *clearly* driven by the need to fundraise.  No, no, don’t even try to convince me that he feels passionately about this.  I’m guessing that he doesn’t really feel passion about anything that doesn’t affect him directly.  I mean, supposedly, he’s a pro-choice president but I doubt you’ll ever hear him say that women have the right to make their own decisions about abortion without the interference of half a dozen family members and social institutions.

He’s not a nice guy.  He’s not a great president.  He’s just an overconfident underperforming politician whose big money guys are stingy this year.  This is about Obama, not Hillary.  You can say all you want about Hillary.  She’s an adult and can take care of herself.  But please, give up trying to convince me that this man is God’s gift to the country and for god’s sakes, stop making excuses for his impotency.  We are really tired of excuses.  Maybe you guys are too chickenshit to ask him to step down for the good of the country but stop trying to convince, intimidate or whine to us about why we must choose him this fall.  We own our votes and we’ll give them to people who act like they actually believe in something.

Ok, looks like I’m done harshing your mellow.  Must go paint…

********************************

Wait, I’m not done yet after all.  A couple of days ago, James Carville told Democrats to STFU about how they’ve got the election in the bag this fall because they could easily lose.  Yes, there is a surplus of unearned overconfidence about trouncing Romney.  I’m going third party this year but I understand where Carville is coming from.  No matter what you say about Romney and his youthful indiscretions with hair clippers, he ran for office in Massachusetts and won.  As far as states go, it doesn’t get bluer than that.  And he’s already tied with Obama in latest polls well inside the margin of error.

As Carville says, voters will go with the person they think cares about them.  It doesn’t matter how many terrorists you slay, if your constituents have suffered through job losses, foreclosures and loss of health insurance, and there is still no end in sight, they will hold you personally responsible.  Obama’s campaign and other Democrats ignore this at their peril.

They also seem to be ignoring the effects of outsourcing our scientific infrastructure and the loss of high paying, middle class, suburban jobs who were once held by people who do not need additional education to fit in to the present job market.  Democrats are still in la-la land if they think we don’t notice how we’ve been abandoned by their party.  We will not forget who stood by and did nothing.