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#obamafail

(OK, I know this isn't twitter, but I like this hashtag-fail construct)

So, if you haven't heard yet, the DOJ has filed its brief defending DOMA in Smelt v the United States of America.

There's been a lot of screaming about it, and for good reason. It's a horrible brief.

The Justice Department claims it has to defend the law, but that's overstatement at best.

Andrew Sullivan points out that the brief was written and submitted by a Bush-administration hold-over recognized by Alberto Gonzalez for his defense of the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act.

So, yeah.

I would have preferred the administration to decide that there were aspects of the law that were unconstitutional and choose to not defend it on those grounds.

I would have preferred the administration had already started on the legislative action to repeal DOMA that was promised during the campaign.

But, frankly, at the moment, I would have been satisfied if the Justice Department had maybe reviewed the brief before it was submitted, and not submitted such an inflammatory brief.

In the end, though, this may be a snow job on all of us: what if the Obama administration picked an attorney they knew would submit the most repugnant defense of the law possible to set up the defense to lose? It would be consistent with the Obama that the conservative pundits keep painting, and in some ways the meandering brief is practically a gift to the plaintiffs' attorney.

Comments

madoc62
Jun. 14th, 2009 12:02 am (UTC)
Andy,

Rhetoric and campaign promises aside, does President Obama support gay marriage?

The answer, obviously, is no, he does not.

Obama's position is, in fact, quite similar to that held by a number of Prop 8 _SUPPORTERS_ and yet, the gay community has come out unequivacably in damnation of such "half measures" and "second class citizenship."

So why then, is it unacceptable for Prop 8 supporters yet excusable for Obama?

Andy, we got played. Again. At least the Republicans are upfront about their opposition to "the gay agenda." The Democrats - including Obama - dress up their opposition and weigh it down with sweet sounding words.

In the end, they're no different.

One thing I find unseemly about all this is the desperate tone of the gay folks apologizing for Obama's failures. If it were a Republican stating the same things, if it were a Republican administration making the same case, then the gay community would be all over that like nothing else.

Ah, but it's not a Republican. Instead, it's The One! And The One is never wrong!

Codependancy is an ugly thing in personal relationships and even more so for an entire community. And that's exactly where the gay community has once again found itself at the hands of the Democratic politicians.

If Obama's DOJ was charged with "defending the law" but doing so with the intent of supporting gay marriage then that defense would be a tame and half-hearted thing. It would NOT be the strident and vehement thing that it actually is.

We got played Andy. Again. By the Democrats. Again.

Madoc
bovil
Jun. 14th, 2009 12:49 am (UTC)
One thing I find unseemly about all this is the desperate tone of the gay folks apologizing for Obama's failures. If it were a Republican stating the same things, if it were a Republican administration making the same case, then the gay community would be all over that like nothing else.

and

Ah, but it's not a Republican. Instead, it's The One! And The One is never wrong!

So you haven't seen all the angry posts and news about this? Oh, wait, it's not an angry mob with pitchforks, so all that heated debate must just be covering up for the administration, rather than a push to the administration to tell us what the hell is going on.

If Obama's DOJ was charged with "defending the law" but doing so with the intent of supporting gay marriage then that defense would be a tame and half-hearted thing. It would NOT be the strident and vehement thing that it actually is.

Doing a half-assed job is legal malpractice. It would open up all sorts of appeal avenues in the case, particularly if the half-assed defense lost. It would result in the lawyers presenting the defense getting sanctioned and/or fired. It would not settle the issue.

From a lawyer (who advocates against DOMA) on another community:
If you’ve decided you’re going to write a brief supporting DOMA, these are the arguments you have to make: (a) full faith and credit allows states to have public policy exemptions and not recognize public acts of other states which are in violation of their public policy [and pretty much the *only* examples of that in the case law with respect to marriage are interracial marriages and incest]; (b) DOMA doesn’t discriminate against gay people; (c) even if it did, the correct level of scrutiny is rational basis review; (d) even if it isn’t, the government has a compelling state interest (and saving money is the only way to easily get there). A lawyer who doesn’t make those arguments just isn’t doing his job.


I still think it's a crap brief, demeaning and dismissive. Then again, that's entirely in character with the act it's defending.
madoc62
Jun. 14th, 2009 01:48 am (UTC)
Andy,

Obama stated he opposed gay marriage back when he was but a mere candidate. Now that he's the Prez - surprise! - he opposes gay marriage and he's directed his Department of Justice to see that the Federal governement will _NOT_ recognize gay marriage either.

His opposition was clearly stated then and only now - now that he's putting it into action - are gays and lesbians waking up to this fact?

Worse, gays and lesbians - even as they're criticizing Obama's decision - are finding ways to apologize for it or explain it away. Andy, your analysis here that this might be a "ploy" to make it easier for the plaintiff's attorney is just such an apologist's defense. Andy, if it were Bush who directed his DOJ attorney's to issue such a brief you'd be calling for blood. Why not now?

Oh, right, Obama has also _promised_ other sweet sounding things back when he was hustling for your vote. Got it. Right.

Madoc
bovil
Jun. 14th, 2009 01:55 am (UTC)
Andy, your analysis here that this might be a "ploy" to make it easier for the plaintiff's attorney is just such an apologist's defense.

Nope, it's a smart-ass comment.

Obama's (5 month) record is mixed but better than Bush's, Clinton's and GHW Bush's. It's better than what McCain promised (and look at his recent interview where he said that he didn't oppose "don't ask-don't tell" but would have studied the issue had he been elected).
madoc62
Jun. 14th, 2009 02:01 am (UTC)
Andy,

Yup, Obama's only been on the job for but a few months so there's much he could eventually do.

Or no.

Given the guy's statements prior to his election and his actions thus far he, at best, has a lot of improvements to make.

I don't think he will as I think we're seeing the _real_ Obama and not just the empty suit who spoke hollow words in order to get elected.

Madoc

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