When Politicians And Pundits Whine — Obama and Everyone Else

We live in a country right now which values mediocrity — or thinks it should.

Today, President Obama affirmed that he is in support of gay marriage.  Like his opinion (I do) or not (many good friends of mine, for religious reasons, mostly), Obama has — in one day — become the boldest President for at least a generation. My immediate impression is that he’ll get shot for saying so. Some GOP state party was already allowing someone to publish an editorial calling for armed revolution if he gets elected again. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/08/greene-county-virginia-gop-obama-revolution_1501510.html?ref=mostpopular  That was before his decision was announced. Bullies like to be violent when they aren’t listened to. Then there’s Ted Nugent. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lawrence-d-elliott/ted-nugent-dont-dismiss-h_b_1438779.html Then there are the guys who were recently charged with planning an assassination. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/10/27/obama-assassination-plot_n_138297.html

In the midst of this, Obama says he’s for gay marriage.  I hope the Secret Service keeps its eye out and I hope that nothing ever happens to him. That said, I saw a list of comments (“tweets”) about the announcement. That’s where I was fascinated. Many people supported his decision, but the few pundits and politicians who were against it just were stunned and had things like this to say, “He’s playing politics” and “He’s pandering”.  That’s it? That’s the best they’ve got? Seriously?

I don’t know why I didn’t notice it before, but “He’s playing politics” is a pretty light insult.  He’s a professional politician. He’s supposed to play politics. That’s his job!  To say a man is doing his job is hardly an insult. One may not like what he’s doing with his job. That’s fair. Saying that he’s doing it is not an insult. Furthermore, he’s apparently (again, for good or ill) being a leader — making the tough decisions that he thinks he needs to make.

Then the whole “pandering” charge… “Pandering” to who? 10% of the population?!! Ooooh, that’ll get him a lot of votes. Pandering to the people that want to kill him? That’s not really “pandering” in any way that I know of. If he’s pandering for votes,  and he’s any kind of politician at all, he’s going to want a lot of votes for this decision. If he gets a lot of votes for this decision (which may, in fact, be the case), we call that “democracy” where I’m from.  Doing things that people want to see done for the privilege of being elected… honestly, that’s called democracy.

He’s either being a leader or he’s being a politician or he’s for democracy. If those tags are the worst you can be called at the end of the day, you’re doing ok in life.

Good for him. Whiny of them.

Peace,

 

John

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2 thoughts on “When Politicians And Pundits Whine — Obama and Everyone Else

  1. Just a thought about his “pandering”- gay marriage is a popular topic among many younger people who have no real understanding of politics, economics, sociology, etc. This is a way for him to lock in votes of the people who are relatively uninformed about all-things-government.

    This announcement won’t get him any republican votes, it won’t get him any democratic votes (those voters’ minds are already made up). But it will get votes from the young crowd who is trying to learn their way around politics.

    As far as “playing politics”, it was a pretty good move. And frankly I’m surprised he was able to hold out this long without publicly announcing his desire to change the definition of the word marriage.

  2. Bob: Good to have you back. Re: the youth vote — you and I were once “youth”. I don’t find it a bad thing to involve yet another generation in the political system. It’s the combination of idealism and experience that makes our democracy work as well as it does.
    Re: “surprised he could hold out this long”: a lot of lefties (especially young lefties) are, too. If they are that far left, they are beyond me and that’s ok. The fact that in 1972, the APA was calling homosexuality a “disorder” shows how far society has changed. From “it’s an illness” to “people should have the right to” is a loooong way. The fact that a sitting president, with nowhere to hide, would say something so historically bold is pretty incredible.

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