Election night 2012.
As my gay friends, blindly devoted to President Obama, danced with joy at the news that gay marriage was being approved by popular vote in three states… the first of its kind, that an ‘out’ lesbian had been elected to the US senate and that ‘their guy’ was going back to the White House… I shifted uncomfortably in my bed.
In May, after years of unconvincingly claiming that his (Obama’s) view on gay marriage was “evolving”, it miraculously matured five months before an election as support from gay and lesbian voters and young people – who are far more likely to support marriage equality – appeared to be softening. A month later he halted the deportation of thousands of young undocumented immigrants with an executive order.
He could have done either one at any time.
As the results came in I watched my Twitter/Facebook/Tumblr feeds explode.
Lance Black told us that he was crying so hard with gratitude for the people of Maine, so blinded by tears he could scarcely post his thanks on Facebook.
“Thank you, thank you, thank you.” he wept.
I kept thinking: Republicans want your money, Democrats want your hope. What’s worse? All night I knew that I was witnessing something sickeningly dishonest, as ersatz as the twin towers crumbling seem to conspiracy theorists.
I wondered again and again about the relative values of my gay brethren. You see, I couldn’t stop thinking about just one gay man. I was plagued with the young face of Bradley Manning who presently sits in jail, a victim of Obama’s rarely mentioned dark side. Since July 2010 he has been kept naked and in solitary confinement. According to his family he is going slowly insane.
Manning, you may remember, had blown the whistle on American war crimes in Iraq. He posted videos, unleashed a torrent of classified information to Wikileaks… his fury knew no bounds. He had every reason to be angry. He related to the wholesale cruelty and injustice being perpetrated on the Iraqi people. Manning’s had a crippling history of emotional abuse, neglect, bullying and abandonment .
As a teenager he was taken to the UK by his British mother. At school in Wales he became the target of bullying because he was the only American. The students would imitate his accent, and they apparently abandoned him once during a camping trip. His aunt told The Washington Post: “He woke up, and all the tents around him were gone. They left while he was sleeping.” He was also targeted for being effeminate.
As an adult he had one of two choices, he could take it out on himself like so many gay men and kill himself… or he could take it out on those who gave him the most pain. He was rightly furious at how he was being personally treated by the military… facing his own demons as well as the worlds. Every day he bore witness to atrocities against the Iraqi people, (the very people he was apparently trying to protect) and the atrocity of institutionalized homophobia.
Some soldiers, driven mad by war, punish Iraqis. A soldier walks into a village on his own and kills innocent men, women and children. Some take it out on each other, a soldier rapes or damages or kills a colleague. We know these stories. They are legion.
Bradley Manning knew the truth had to be revealed.
The material he disseminated included videos of the July 12, 2007 Baghdad airstrike and the 2009 Granai airstrike in Afghanistan; 250,000 United States diplomatic cables; and 500,000 army reports that came to be known as the Iraq War logs and Afghan War logs.
It was the largest set of restricted documents ever leaked to the public.
The Wikipedia page for Manning has a great deal of unsubstantiated detail describing his ‘true nature’, over turning tables, punching women in the face, carving words into a chair.
Meanwhile, the heteronormative lesbian (Tammy Baldwin), looking like Laura Bush in her puce, slubbed silk jacket was on her way to the Senate. Hailed by the gays (even the ones who have no lesbian or even women friends) as the great Sappho answer to the LGBT political conundrum, applauding as she goes down on the neo-liberal pussy… rainbow bunting festoons her office. Is Tammy Baldwin our LGBT hero? Will the people of Maine win a GLAAD award like the people of Europe won the Nobel Peace Prize?
Bradley Manning is a true hero, a gay hero, a young man of conscience… yet he has been all but abandoned by the gay community. Where are his GLAAD awards? His rainbow bunting? His gay applause?
Don’t weep for the people of Maine for voting on something that shouldn’t even have been on the ballot. Weep for Bradley Manning who sits in a cell today for showing all of you the crimes being committed in your name.
As it turned out the President was not a ‘game day player’, famously caught off guard by Romney’s meticulous debate preparation he crashed and burned leaving many of his most ardent supporters wondering why they were supporting him at all.
There’s something horribly revealing about this story. It betrays exactly who Barack Obama is. Aloof, dismissive and far more confident in his own ability than he should be.
For those who have performed on stage can confirm, no amount of rehearsal is long enough for any performance. The dress rehearsal is imperative, it is at the dress rehearsal where all catastrophic mistakes will be made, never to be made again. To have no rehearsal, no dress rehearsal, to stand on stage without any preparation whatsoever is arrogant at best, monumentally dumb at worst. Arrogance may be Obama’s defining character defect. More details reveal the President to be an even less sympathetic character.
Two startling facts:
Obama has never entertained either President Carter nor Clinton at the White House and complains frequently about being under valued.
“Stories abound of big donors who stopped giving as much or working as hard because Obama never reached out, either with a Clinton-esque warm bath of attention or Romney-esque weekend love fests and Israeli-style jaunts; of celebrities who gave concerts for his campaigns and never received thank-you notes or even his full attention during the performance; of public servants upset because they knocked themselves out at the president’s request and never got a pat on the back.”
There is an obvious lack of sophistication about the first couple that no amount of Jason Woo, Simon Doonan table settings or fancy interior decoration will ever mask.
Obama’s arrogance, his ego maniacal obsession with his own success would be worth something if he had some huge scheme, some Housman type plan, some Churchillian grandiosity, some Napoleonic zeal but all his arrogance boils down to… well, a miserable compromise. Many liberals were annoyed during the first Obama term that Bush-era strong-arm tactics (including the ubiquitous executive order) were not used… even as the President was bullied relentlessly by house Republicans after he lost control of Congress.
After the ‘shellacking’ he continue his obsequious placating of the far right of the Republican party. Rather than insist on defending his oft lauded centrist position he crawled ignominiously further right to placate his foes. The most annoying leitmotif of President Obama’s last four years, a recurring theme… must be his constant reference to himself as The President because if he didn’t remind you who he was… you might forget.
“I’m the president.” he tells anyone who will listen. “I’m the President!” he smiles, like JayZ might tell you he had sold more tracks on iTunes than any other artist since the Beatles. And if that sounds vaguely racist, I remind you again what Don Lemons told me about The President, “Obama is the kind of black man who looks scared of white people.”
There’s something to be said for this analysis.
Not wanting to prepare for the Presidential debate reveals Obama’s fear of the very men the rest of us want to see him stand up against: The Good ol’ Boys. The very same men who are at this moment witnessing the end of their white America, the very same white men who could not believe America would elect a black President twice. The man they had humiliated with obstructionist politics, like tripping the nigger on the side-walk… just because they could. His fear of white people coupled with the pitiful jokes, the self-deprecating bon mot.
“I was too polite.” he offered up after the first debate.
It caused radical friends to throw up their hands in fury. Barry Obama, against all the Republican odds, is President re-elect. It is up to him to start taking those who elected him seriously and not for granted. It is up to us to drag this weedy President firmly into the 21st Century.
Americans, it seems, are baying for a modern America. The cabal of white (Republican looking) social engineers who stand behind Obama (Tim Geithner et al) , using their half-black, amiable front man as a shield behind which they steal the money…. well, they need to wake up. There are too many vocal opponents to the wholesale compromise that defined Obama’s first term.
Those who supported Obama the second time around are delivering a firm rebuke. They want stuff. The white men who have been controlling Obama, offering false hope to the Latinos and the gays to motivate their base… have opened Pandora’s box… yet the evil in the box seems poisonous only to the Republicans… for the rest of us it is the liberal air we breath.
A Gay Poem
by Duncan Roy 2012
Don’t let climate change ruin your gay wedding.
Don’t let staff shortages due to deportation destroy your special day.
Try not to think about drone attacks on foreign shores.
Concentrate on the $160k baby you can’t really afford, grown in the woman whose name will never be known to the unborn child.
You’re spending your bonus money on Botox and patching your 25 years old lined forehead with restylane.
Thank God you’re marrying a fellow american or ICE officers might be your groomsman.
Thank God you can get married, you’ll never be turned away from the hospital as your husband lies dying of a meth overdose.
They found him in the sauna, multiply penetrated, cream pied, still dripping, swaying gently in a sling still wearing his military boots…
on your honeymoon in the leather bars of Berlin.