Barack Obama in New Hampshire (Jan 4, 2008). Click for LARGE size.
photo Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images.
What I Trust Obama For
(and why he gets NOTHING from me)
I don't remember if I contributed to Obama or not during the General election; I don't think I did but I may have, after the primary races were settled. Mostly my contributions went to key House and Senate races where I felt my money would have more of an impact.
I never kidded myself about Obama; it was always clear to me, and I always said to my readers at Group News Blog, even though it pissed off a solid 60-70% of them, that at best, Obama was a middle-of-the-road politician, that his campaign rhetoric was just that, slogans and feel-good imagery designed a) to get him elected (7.2% & 192 electoral points), and b) to let everyone place their own meaning on simple non-commitments without actually committing him or his future administration to any real positions. Further I said, the commitments he does make he will not interpret as actual promises but as declarations, as futures he intends to bring forth, but never as specific promises.
Obama doesn't make promises; that is not the way in which he speaks. The "Presidential Voice" is always that of Declarations, never that of Promises or even that of Assessments and Assertions (which as a former College Professor Obama is familiar with...except that when he went there, as he did a few times on the campaign trail -- *coughLevittown--Bittergatecough*, it got/gets him into trouble.)
Therefore Obama speaks in Futures, in Declarations. Any promises he makes must always be understood, be listened to inside the possible futures Obama is bringing forth in this moment, and like all futures, Obama knows that Futures are Probabilities, not certainties. Some Futures may be more probable than others. Some Futures may be strongly more likely, almost dead-certain. But in a moment, everything can change due to an unexpected event from a change in the market to an assassination to war or peace breaking out to a natural disaster. There are moments when certain Futures are possible and other moments when those Futures are not...and these moments are not under the control of anyone. Life comes at us as it comes. We can prepare; we can be in the moment ready to act. But Life, she just happens.
Obama -- and any student of history -- knows this in their gut. Thus Obama is ready, always, to dance from one set of possible futures to another set of possible futures, and is never truly committed to any one specific set. Instead he is looking in every moment to bring forth, to produce what he considers the best, the most open (in his world, what he considers "best" and open"), the best possible set of futures which fit HIS standards, given the circumstances and politics, the resources and the economics, the weather and the world situation and all that jazz, of THIS moment. Ten days, ten hours, ten months from now, Obama will be working to produce a different -- yet clearly related -- set of futures, which is related not just by the way the world and the political, economic, and all that jazz circumstances have changed, but also which is clearly related by Obama's commitment to his own standards,e.g.: none of his possible futures will allow television advertising of cigarettes, some will have public option health insurance and some will not, and likely only in very few of them will Obama ever do more than give lip service to civil rights for gay marriage or anything Teh Gay.
Why? Because Obama doesn't give a flying fuck for Gay Rights. Regardless of the words which come out of his mouth, the futures he declares, the soaring words he speaks, he and his administration and the DNC have made ZERO ACTIONS consistent with these futures. Thus, bullshit. Bullshit across the board.
Here's the good thing. This bullshit means we can trust Obama in this domain. No longer any need to get crazy about it. Seriously.
I trust Rush about gay rights as well. I trust that Rush will absolutely, given the opportunity, fuck me, fuck my daughters and son, fuck my mother, fuck my friends, and fuck everything I and my family and colleagues stand for in the domain of rights for people who are GLBT. Rush is absolutely trustworthy in that he WILL fuck all of us over given any opportunity in this domain. Even more, Rush will go out of his way to CREATE opportunities to fuck us when it comes to gay civil rights. He's a scorpion; he stings. It is who he is; it is what he does. I am not upset about this; it does not freak me out. I don't waste any time being crazy wondering where Rush stands or damming the Gods that Rush is this way. Water is wet, rocks are hard, Rush fucks teh Gay, and this is how it is. *shrugs* I trust completely that Rush is out to fuck me and act accordingly without it getting in the way.
After Maine, after this week's Fall 2009 election, I now know how to trust Obama with respect to Gay Rights. I have for myself -- and others will have to do this (or at least can do this) for themselves -- clearly separated the Declarations of possible Futures Obama keeps making (his speaking), from the Actions (his doing) that he and the entities he is accountable keep making.
Obama -- just like Rush -- I say, is absolutely trustworthy. Obama is a) trustworthy not to screw us, that is, he won't fuck us over. This first part is fairly weak. He'd give this one up and actually screw us over if need be. So best not to rely on this one too strongly. None the less, at least for now, Obama is trustworthy to not actively screw us. More importantly, Obama is also b) trustworthy to do nothing. This is for what he can be primarily counted on. No matter what Obama says, no matter what promises Obama makes or futures he invents, proclaims, or declares beautifully, Obama's actions over time lead me to be certain what Obama is trustworthy to do and all Obama is trustworthy and count-on-able to do in the domain of GLBT civil rights is nothing. We can count on Obama and groups under his control, when it comes to gay civil rights, to do jack-shit. Obama is trustworthy for that. You and I do not need to suffer or worry about what the President and DNC will do; we now have sufficient history that we can trust them...they will do—nothing. Period. Full stop.
Seriously, it is good to know this. Truly. It means we don't need to suffer trying in vain to get them to do something. It means we don't get upset afterward due to unfilled expectation having thought the folks who claimed we could count on would do something (and then they did it poorly, not at all, or screwed it up so badly one might suspect they sold us out intentionally) or should have done something.
See, it is truly silly to be upset at someone for not doing something or expecting someone to do something, when the grounded interpretation/assessment about them is, they are trustworthy for doing nothing. *laughs* So they did nothing... well Duh... Nothing is PRECISELY what they were trusted to do. I would never be upset at Rush for doing nothing. (Or at a cow for shitting in its stall. Cows shit. Have you ever seen a big pile of cow shit? [Click on photo at link to enlarge. *grins*] People make enormous sums of money dealing with cow shit. But first (to make the big bucks) you have to accept that cow shit is natural for the cow and part of life for the rancher.) Obama (in the domain of civil rights for gay people) is trustworthy to do—nothing. Rush... Hell, I'd be happy if that fuck did nothing. Because what Rush is trustworthy for is to fuck us over.
Upsets come when from unfulfilled expectations, thwarted intentions, and undelivered communications. In this case we primarily have unfulfilled expectations (the expectation that Obama would do what he promised/declared), which when done would handle the intent (which is thwarted and now, continues to be.) But the intent is a secondary thing. Communications are being delivered just fine, but positively and negatively. The upset here comes from the unfulfilled expectation.
That there is an expectation at all is because we -- you, me, everyone who is gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual, has a family member, a friend or loved person, colleague, or is in any way committed to the success of the GLBT community -- have been expecting the Obama team to deliver. We have believed they were trustworthy in the declarations and promises they made. Now we know better.
Knowing Obama, the administration and the DNC are trustworthy to do nothing, means that if I expect anything to be done, I know it's going to be other entities -- perhaps even my daughters and I -- who get the job done, as just happened in Washington State where my daughter and her pals worked their asses off campaigning. And won! Go Kyle, go her buddies. Good fracking job!!! Most of all, I know NOT to give a fracking penny, dime or dollar to Obama or the DNC. Because I do not EVER fund people who don't have my back. Not funding people who fail to support my goals is simple common sense.
I stopped funding NOW when they backed that slimeball Joe L. for reelect in CN, those gunkies, as well as writing off the DNC who sucked his ass while he crapped all over them. (And look how well it paid off; he's about to take a big steaming dump on all of us with the Health Care bill. Well done, Democratic Leadership. Good work.)
Now I know also to not fund Obama, even if he is the leader of my Party, as well as still to keep not funding the DNC. Again, why? Because they don't have our backs; they look at me and mine as vending machines. Screw them and their corporate donors whose teats they suck. What is now clear is Obama, the administration and the DNC would rather dance with corporate donors and try to get religious conservatives to vote for them (who won't, ever) than keep their word given in battle to the heart and soul of the Democratic party. Believing we have nowhere else to go, they are trustworthy to write off GLBT people, their familes, and the people who support them. Writing us off is up to them.
This is what is up to us...
I am not going to waste my energy or emotions getting angry or mad. To do so would be to damage who I am. I'm stronger and wiser than to waste myself getting angry with Obama and the fools he has advising him how to sell out his soul. Instead of getting angry, I'm simply walking away from Obama, the administration, the DNC, and everyone associated with them. I am going to donate my money, my time, and organize and blog, campaign and write, and give as much of myself, my family, my resources and energies as possible to people who DO have our backs, to people who are trustworthy down in the trenches. *waves to Al Franken and Alan Grayson*
I'm also going to tell everyone precisely why Obama and the DNC are on my shit list... because they are trustworthy to promise one thing, while doing another. They say they support Teh Gay, but what they really want is Gay Money while doing jack-shit for civil rights for ALL Americans. Fuck that, fuck them, fuck this.
Obama and the DNC get NOTHING from me -- no cash, no support, no good press, no volunteering, nothing -- till they not only speak great declarative Futures (which they're great at doing) but until they cease the hypocrisy -- UNTIL THEIR ACTIONS ARE COMPLETELY CONSISTENT WITH THEIR DECLARATIONS, WHEN IT COMES TO GLBT CIVIL RIGHTS, OBAMA AND THE DNC GET NOTHING FROM ME.
Trust is an assessment, grounded in Competence and Sincerity.
Let me give you that again...
Trust is an assessment, grounded in Competence and Sincerity. The Obama administration's declarations (and promises) regarding gay civil rights are competent; they are not sincere nor were they made in sincerity. People and organizations who make declaration/promises from a place of competence while intentionally making insincere promises/declaring futures to which they are not committed, are assessed as CRIMINAL with respect to that domain of declaration and promises.
Why everyone is SO FREAKING PISSED at Obama regarding all this is simple. It is clear he and his team have intentionally used the Gay Community to raise campaign money for himself with no intention of fulfilling his campaign promise. This is a CRIMINAL act. Perhaps not legally (although perhaps), but absolutely socially. Barack Obama personally, and the Obama administration as a whole, have intentionally and deliberately violated, breached, betrayed their word, after already collecting -- repeatedly -- enormous campaign contributions which were given in exchange for the promise that Obama WOULD make gay civil rights a major priority, that he, Obama, would personally get this handled. And now we see it was all a lie. *sighs*
Obama took our community money and got himself elected. California was not possible, not possible without television commercials which would have cost (forced) Obama's campaign to (have to) pull TV spots and other major media buys from all over the country...which would have cost him electoral votes, and who knows what might have happened then without A-Gay Money and old-school Hollywood Support, hmmm? Plus every other GLBT flat-out breaking their piggy-banks open for Obama because he PROMISED a whole new world. He PROMISED.
We now know the Candidate, now President, made us a flat out CRIMINAL lie, a betrayal. (We won't get into parsing the other distinctions of how breaking a promise settles out. Just know that if someone is competent and insincere, linguistically people assess that kind of lie as CRIMINAL. Think Dick Cheney or Richard "Tricky Dick" Nixon. Criminal betrayers, both of them. Competent liars, yet insincere in the promises/declarations they made.)
I trust the Obama Administration to do nothing for teh Gay. *shrugs* The made a cold-blooded determination it was less costly for them politically to take our money and do nothing than to take our money and keep their word. They lied and did so knowingly to over one-tenth of all Americans, said "Fuck You..." You're not even as valuable as 3/5ths of as an American. But please... we want your money and your vote.
It's a political calculus of the coldest kind. They figure we have nowhere else to go. Plus they've already got our money. Obama's already in office. What, they think, are we going to do? Throw a fit? Tell our Senators and Congresspeople to vote against the White House position on all the other bills we want? Piss on our own (well-tailored) shoes?
Obama thinks he's got our money and our votes and in addition, has managed to screw us over in broad daylight, thus gaining votes with middle America. (You know whose strategy this was. But Obama went along and he's the President, not Rahm.)
Until Obama, the administration, and the DNC stop talking about change and actually ACT on the change the promised, not one dime, not one bit of campaign support, nothing. We are DONE.
If they want me to trust them to something, they need to change their actions. But for right now, I trust them to do...