Barack Obama has, on numerous occasions, emphatically expressed his support for repealing DOMA. When he ran for the U.S. Senate in 2004, he wrote a letter to Chicago's Windy City Times, calling DOMA "abhorrent" and its repeal "essential," and vowing: "I opposed DOMA in 1996. It should be repealed and I will vote for its repeal on the Senate floor." But he went on to cite what he called the "the realities of modern politics" in order to proclaim (accurately) that DOMA's repeal at that time -- 2004 -- was "unlikely with Mr. Bush in the White House and Republicans in control of both chambers of Congress." After Tuesday, that excuse is no longer availing.No, because they're not stupid and they want to stay in power. That's my answer. Here's Greenwald's:
Democrats have a particular responsibility to erase the stain of DOMA. It was Bill Clinton who signed DOMA into law....
This would be a vital step that Democrats could take quickly and easily. But are they likely to do so?
The conventional Beltway wisdom has already ossified, quite predictably, that Obama and the Democrats must scorn "the Left" and, despite polling data showing widespread support for equal rights for same-sex couples, such a move would be deemed by Beltway media mavens as coming from "the Left." Nancy Pelosi is running around decreeing that "the country must be governed from the middle," while Harry Reid emphasizes that Democrats have received no mandate from the election. And, most significantly of all, Democrats are being told they must avoid the "overreaching" of Clinton's first two years, defined by his attempt to eliminate the ban on gay people serving in the military -- something likely to scare Democrats from touching any gay issues.Greenwald, who surely must be paid by the word, never answers his own yes-or-no question. He goes on to express his desire for a repeal. But I think if he were honest and straightforward and remembered his own question, he'd say what I said: No, because they're not stupid and they want to stay in power.
Combine all that with the fact that only a small minority is actually affected by DOMA's injustices, that many Democrats will insist none of this is worth the "risk," and that many Obama supporters will refuse to criticize anything he does (marvel at the number of commenters here saying that Obama's choice of Rahm Emanuel as Chief of Staff is right because . . . it is Obama's choice -- just look at this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this). Even as leading Democrats flamboyantly condemn Proposition 8, and even with Obama's long record of emphatically vowing that he will support DOMA's repeal, there will be very strong currents pushing Democrats to do nothing.
IN THE COMMENTS: Dody Jane says:
They should repeal it. They should be who they whisper they are. They have the power now. They should do it. I am sick of tippy toeing. They way I look at it, my daughter's generation will eventually get aroud to it in 20 years anyway. It is inevitable. It is a liberal issue, liberals have the power now, liberals need to be big boys and as NIKE would say, just do it.ADDED: Greenwald adds an update that links to this post:
Simply reciting trite conventional wisdom from the TV is easy, particularly for those capable of nothing else, but that practice is exactly what has produced the last eight years.Glenn, my observation was that you failed to answer your own question. I didn't watch that on TV. I read your post. I'd like to see you face up to your own question. I think you don't because I'm right and you know that the Democrats -- out of perceived self-interest -- are unlikely to repeal DOMA. So I will renew my accusation that you are dishonest. You're also verbose as hell: reciting trite conventional wisdom ... easy. Bleh. I think you are taking the easy way out, beginning by not editing tiresome redundancies out of your posts. Instead of assuming that something you don't want to deal with came from television and that things from television can be ignored and that things that are well-known aren't worth thinking about, you should answer the question -- which was your own damned question. You asked whether the Democrats are likely to repeal DOMA. I don't like DOMA either, but I know and I think you know that the answer to your question is no. Be honest and say it clearly and move on.