Wednesday, June 17, 2009

WH Admits Extension of Fed. Benefits Timed to Appease; How Stupid Do They Think We Are?

The true story behind Obama's decision to extend benefits to gay federal employees is taking shape

The New York Times this morning is packing a wallop of an article. First, it's reporting that "President Obama will sign a presidential memorandum on Wednesday to extend benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees, administration officials said Tuesday evening, but he will stop short of pledging full health insurance coverage."

Meaning, that when Obama leaves office, the benefits go with him. A memorandum only lasts the length of his presidency, unlike an executive order.

I among others last night questioned the timing of the announcement, considering the mounting anger against the Administration over their many faux pas with the LGBT population, including lack of action on the DADT and DOMA, but most especially, since it affects them, the pulling out of donors from the DNC fundraiser, the 10th Annual LGBT Leadership Council Dinner.

On top of that, the decision was hasty. The article mentions that as of last night, the memorandum was still being put together in an effort to stem the tide of fleeing greenbacks.

So it does appear that Democrats respond to money, instead of the integrity of their promises.

I feared that I was beginning to sound whiny and ungrateful about the announcement from Obama that he will be taking his first step in engaging the call for LGBT rights. I was questioning my judgment. Even my good friends @SafeFresno on Twitter said to me, "I think extending federal benefits has been in the works for awhile, part of "the plan"!

But my worst fears have been confirmed! There was no real plan to act.

The White House has been hinting for sometime that they were going to reveal some big announcement about LGBT rights, but now we know that they, until yesterday, had not planned anything! So it makes one wonder about this whole "strategy" for equal rights that they keep mentioning to quiet the criticisms from the LGBT population. The "strategy" that will come to fruition at some undetermined time, but "before the sun sets on this administration."

The Los Angeles Times said today, "Obama . . .has shown a dishearteningly pragmatic willingness to allow the issue of gay rights to languish. The many Americans who support these rights expect better of him."

What is surprising me is that I'm not that upset. I'm not relishing that I, among most of us, have been proven right. I wish that weren't the case. I wish I could celebrate this moment instead of feeling placated or condescended to. As if I were stupid for not seeing the slight-of-hand maneuver the White House is using.

On the bright side, what this announcement shows us is that the Administration is finally listening! They're finally acting. And why? Because we spoke up.

And we're not stupid. We know a ploy when we see one. We've become experts at spotting them.

Keep speaking up, folks! We have a lot more to accomplish.

From last night with Rachel Maddow:


  1. Didn't the white house press aide hint that the strategy would be revealed before the anniversary of Stonewall? They've got about 10 days to go. I hope you're wrong and this wasn't the "non-existant plan".

  2. this is a bone thrown to the community, too little too late