It is very upsetting, in fact sad, that Gay Community politicos and for that matter most of the ultra-liberal left have not learned anything from the Clinton administration's early history and are already pressing President Obama to hurry up and make good on all his campaign promises.
One would think that they would understand the necessity of letting a new president develop his presidential chops before tackling controversial issues based on the Clinton's effort to allow Gays to openly serve in the military.
Having worked in the first California Clinton campaign and being around many of the Los Angeles/West Hollywood politicos, I was on the periphery of the Gay political establishment. When Clinton won the presidency, he recognized the significant contribution that the Gay community had in that victory. He was pressured quite vocally by the Community to make good on his promise to allow Gays to openly serve in the military.
His mistake was that in a rush to please, he forgot that he hardly knew where the presidential men's room was, no less the workings of political Washington. In his first days as President he tried to change the military policy, immediately running into what ought to have been predicable opposition from Congress, not to mention the feelings of his own Secretary of Defense, the very conservative Sam Nunn. As a result and with a lot of back pedaling we got the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy that has had a disastrous effect on the lives of many LGBT service people and on the military due to the loss of their valuable services.
Part of the blame for that fiasco can be laid on the shoulders of a quite co-dependent president that allowed his desire to please his major supporters trump his political savvy. Sharing blame were the Gay politicos and the LGBT Community who didn't give him the time to establish himself and get a feel of how to operate in the totally unfamiliar presidential territory. Sure, to the spoils goes the victor, but without knowing where the spoils are and even more important, where the key is to unlock the vault, there are no spoils. Without belaboring the point too much, it is worth noting that the Clinton health plan also met a similar result due to prematurely initiating it before having all the ducks aligned.
Once again, the political pendulum has swung in our direction and we have a very astute, hugely brilliant President who we know has our, both liberal and Gay, interests on his agenda. It is totally beyond my understanding why we do not give him the time to learn the territory, deal with the most pressing issues of the State, dumped on him by his disastrous predecessor. We should spend our energies drumming up popular support of what our President has figured out are the things he most needs to deal with now.
The last thing President Obama needs right now is the left criticizing him for not immediately initiating actions to fulfill all his campaign promises. For God's sake, the guy just got there and has already done a very credible job so far! I have just about stopped watching Rachael Maddow on MSNBC because, for all her brilliance, she somehow hasn't grasped what it takes for a President to effectively get things done. To listen to her, one would think the President has abandoned all those commitments that are so dear to her. And to me.
I studied the candidates. President Obama was the one that was most in tuned to both the welfare of the Gay citizenry and the liberal views I hold near and dear. I campaigned for him, he won, and now it seems my role, and that of all his supporters is to support him, as he works through the list of issues that we all know are on his agenda.
We should trust his political instincts and high intellect to plan and execute an agenda as he sees fit. Two years from now, after he has dealt with the economy and the wars and healthcare if he still has not gotten to some of our other issues, it would be appropriate to get real vocal. For right now, back off and give him the support and some room to operate!