Although I tend to agree with my friend Paul Zummo, the Cranky Conservative, that the State of the Union address is our annual self inflicted ritual of boring torture, I did have the State of the Union on as background noise while I went about other tasks. I was amazed at what a self-indulgent exercise in venting it mostly was. Things haven’t gone Obama’s way, and last night he decided to engage in a little Presidential talk-therapy. The tedious length, reminiscent of some of Bill Clinton’s efforts, indicated that this was an undisciplined opportunity for Obama to lash out at his opponents. Three more years of this should be as much fun for the country as my last root canal was for me.
Two points struck me as particularly odd. Obama telling Democrats in Congress that this was not a time to “head for the hills” in panic over the looming elections. This is the type of statement that he might make to them behind closed doors, but certainly not in a State of the Union address so as to remind the nation that Democrats are in panic mode. Doing so will not calm jittery Democrats in the slightest. The second point was his reopening the issue of gays in the military. I could just hear Blue Dogs from Republican areas thinking, “Well thanks Mr. President for driving another nail in my coffin in November!” Obama has obviously decided that if he is going down, he will do so as a champion of Liberal orthodoxy. I doubt if this will please the Democrat members of Congress more rooted in electoral reality.
Those are my thoughts, what are yours?
I would like to think that I rarely, if ever, use my privileges here to get on a “soapbox” or as a means to be politically partisan and issue an attack on any person or group. Similarly I hope the subject that I am undertaking reflects my commitment. I would like to admit in regard to the subject that I am terribly biased and I don’t think I am wrong about the matter. I am no source of infallibility, obviously; everyone is free to contradict me. I will passionately disagree, but will respect everyone’s right to intellectual freedom presupposing the same respect.
My self-identification as a Democrat is no secret. After President Obama was elected last November, I was hopeful, that despite his horrific position on life issues, a Democratic Administration and Congress would be able to go, in what I deem, a positive direction on many issues. One of these issues, I hoped, would be repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
President Obama on the campaign trail reiterated how he supported “equality” for gay and lesbian Americans. While his definition of “equality” is incompatible with my Catholic faith, I find the matter of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” one in which good Catholics may disagree on and it is one I thought the President and I agreed. Let me clarify: I do not march in GLBT parades or belong to any of their advocacy groups.
Just yesterday I learned that allegedly, 619 individuals were discharged last year from the military under the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. I won’t address those 619 discharges because I do not know any of the details to cast any sensible judgments.
However, it so happens that just yesterday a White House official indicated that there were no plans in the foreseeable future to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” (cf. Barack Obama campaign promises).
So, why does this bother me so much?