Patterico's Pontifications

6/16/2009

Obama Gives Benefits to Same-Sex Partners . . . But Why?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:23 pm



Obama did something for the gays today:

President Barack Obama, under growing criticism for not seeking to end the ban on openly gay men and women in the military, is extending benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees.

Is it just a coincidence that it happened on the same day as this?

Two prominent gay figures, activist David Mixner and widely read blogger Andy Towle, have pulled out of a Democratic National Committee fundraiser later this month amid growing calls to confront the administration at what was supposed to be its first large scale opportunity to bring in gay cash.

“I will not attend a fundraiser for the National Democratic Party in Washington next week when the current administration is responsible for these kind of actions,” Mixner wrote of a motion to dismiss a challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act that drew a parallel between same-sex marriage to incestuous marriage.

Remember: Obama’s position on gay marriage is the same as the dethroned Miss California. Why, I’m more liberal on that issue than he is. And I’m a conservative.

That’s the headline. When the president is denying a group the full meal, the headline should not be about the crumbs he’s giving them.

43 Responses to “Obama Gives Benefits to Same-Sex Partners . . . But Why?”

  1. My thinking too, Karl.
    The other question is, What benefits? As I understand it, this will not include medical benefits or social security, and it will not extend to the armed forces.

    According to your link, it does include diplomatic passports and linguistic training. So they’ve got that going for them.

    MayBee (cca412)

  2. Why, I’m more liberal on that issue than he is. And I’m a conservative.

    That’s why in this instance I’m going to have to say: Hurrah for Obama!

    However, I’m sure it wouldn’t take too much arm twisting to get Barry to proclaim: “To hell with my current POV. I’m gonna get on board the gay pride wagon and ride it for all it’s worth!”

    Regardless of a couple being same sex or opposite sex, it really is peculiar or ridiculous for a person who does NOT work for the employer of an employee, but who is only hitched to that employee, to be glomming onto benefits from that employee’s employer. That’s certainly the case if the non-employee in question doesn’t even have the responsiblity of caring and nurturing for the employee’s children.

    I’ve sometimes mused that an employer should start telling his workers, well, if your wives or husbands expect to get benefits from this company, they’re going to have come in on the weekends and clean the floors. Or do some typing. Or organize the files.

    Mark (411533)

  3. In one way or another, Obama has disappointed many supporters but none to the degree he’s let down the gays. Through his Press Secretary, Obama repeated his campaign promise to repeal DOMA as recently as March 17, 2009, while less than three months later Obama was defending DOMA in federal court.

    DRJ (180b67)

  4. President Obama somehow found it in his heart to expand government just a little more. This has nothing to do with gays, and everything to do with a bigger Gov pie. Expansion of government is where his bread is buttered.

    Apogee (e2dc9b)

  5. The house is on fire, the bank is threatening foreclosure and these kids have been screaming for attention, demanding to go out for ice cream. =yawn= It’s just as quick trip to the Dairy Queen to keep the kiddies happy.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  6. DRJ #3—well, that’s different! Quite a bit of room under that bus, isn’t there?

    Eric Blair (5a226d)

  7. Fiscal Conservatism is important. It is so important that Republicans who infatuate on abortion and gay marriage and global warming not existing must be considered retarded.

    Wesson (03286d)

  8. It’s just as quick trip to the Dairy Queen to keep the kiddies happy.

    Wait, are you suggesting that Obama is engaged in cheap, cynical political theater that amounts to nothing, on an issue near and dear to the hearts of one of his most loyal voting blocs?

    Say it ain’t so, Joe.

    Mars vs Hollywood (f062b9)

  9. The one did not find any compasssion in his heart. Rather he found it in thw wallets of the taxpayers. Obama can’t buy off the homosexual lobby with mere benefits, but can alienate his base.

    DavidL (02e14f)

  10. Obama’s gay problem is really a black problem. The recent dustup in the NY state senate was with blacks who oppose gay marriage. Black ministers in the D.C. area protested loudly when the city government decided to recognize gay marriage. These are just the most recent example. CA Prop 8 saw a significant black vote against it, and so on.

    If Obama isn’t careful, blacks might actually learn that the first black president isn’t actually “black” as in the experience of black Americans. He is really a white liberal in black skin, raised, nurtured, educated and promoted by white liberals.

    ScottH (71b722)

  11. Since the nonworking gay partner isn’t raising offspring, society gains nothing from giving benefits to this people. I hope single employees start abusing this ridiculous crap by signing up their unemployed friends.

    RM (d3a8ee)

  12. Huh, no medical benefits? What other benefits do spouses get?

    Joe (17aeff)

  13. I wonder if anyone is beginning to see the “gay” lobby for what it is? It’s not about “rights” as in “We just want to get married”. It’s all about money. (as in free stuff)

    retire05 (c21f4a)

  14. This will be used to show that Teh One cares. Despite his stated position that his religion informs his politics, and is against same sex marriage. Much like Miss CA.

    I forgot, did Perez Hilton call Teh One a c*unt for supporting DOMA?

    JD (bd7f0f)

  15. Not that I care in the least what the nutjob says, nevertheless it will be hilarious to watch Sully’s head explode via his contortionist attempts to spin this one as a big win for teh gays.

    Dmac (f7884d)

  16. Right now, benefits given by employers to non-spouses are taxed as income to the employee, whereas those given to spouses are not. A more meaningful gesture would be to amend that part of the tax code.

    nk (d7a872)

  17. Obama is first of all, for Obama. Any promises he makes to gays or anyone else will only be fulfilled if President God thinks it will benefit him. He believes in nothing except himself.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  18. Bradley,

    Just out of curiousity, wherefore “Brother” and “C.O.R.”?

    nk (d7a872)

  19. Can you blame him, Bradley, after the way the press has treated him? In fact, this has been the pattern he has experienced pretty much all of his life. I hope he is a quick study.

    Eric Blair (2f1bff)

  20. nk – That signifies that he has been promoted to Brother in the Church of Obama Revealed.

    JD (50d704)

  21. Well, ok, as long as he’s not a Methodist.

    nk (2ab789)

  22. Another day, another opportunity to pay-off and pander…

    But, what will he do when the black Christians, who overwhelmingly oppose many of the gay rights issues, get miffed by this…

    I guess then, they’ll get a bigger piece of the pie…

    Can’t a man have some pie..?

    That’s whya ll of these gay right putschs are being recast as “civil rights” issues; tryin’ to lay the guilt on the black community for opposing them…

    But a connivance, by an other name is still a connivance; just like the AGW/climate change farce…

    Bob (99fc1b)

  23. My connection is horrific, today (50kbs). This the best link I could manage to Harvey Korman’s “Methodists” scene from Blazing Saddles. (Not entirely off-topic — “buggerers”, “bull-dykes”.)

    nk (2ab789)

  24. Yet another reason to fix the tax code so that people’s health care isn’t tied to their employer. It makes no sense at all. Just think if you lost your car insurance every time you switched jobs. What a royal pain. I’m dealing with COBRA now and it’s like a part-time job.

    carlitos (84409d)

  25. Regardless of the merits of the proposal, how are these benefits his to “give”? He isn’t the king.

    Congress is supposed to be the one appropriating money.

    Bill (f5c720)

  26. I forgot … HOMOPHOBES !!!

    Denounced and condemned.

    Carry on …

    JD (50d704)

  27. Bill – I suspect that, in the absence of a law stating otherwise, the President has the authority to determine what employee benefits areavailable to federal employees who ultimately report to him, just as the CEO of a company has the authority to determine such benefits for a company’s employees.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  28. RM at 10: how do you know the partners are non-working? There was a period of time that I obtained health benefits for my husband because his job didn’t provide them.

    Moreover, I’ve got to ask: do you also believe that health benefits should not be available to non-working spouses in heterosexual marriages, if those couples don’t have children?

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  29. aphrael, I know that you didn’t ask me, but can’t you see the fundamental problem with this whole thing is tying it to employment? Sure it seemed like a good idea in the 50’s, when dad worked for Sears his whole career, and mom and kids were home. Today, it is just ludicrous. Your employer shouldn’t care about your marital status, or whether you want to buy health insurance for your sister and parents, or your 3 live-in man-slaves.

    And what about the right to privacy? Most companies are basically self-insured, using the PPO / HMO / whatever just to do paperwork. When they see the big expenses by your name, you know that they are going to ask around and figure out what’s going on. The whole thing of having medical decisions be seen (at least financially) by one’s employer seems intrusive.

    carlitos (84409d)

  30. Carlitos: I completely agree that health care should not be tied to employment.

    That said, in the world we live in, it is tied to employment, and most of the plans I’ve seen for making it not be tied to employment combine making things worse for the average person in the short-term with faith that magically things will get better in the long-term. I find such plans difficult to support.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  31. Actually, obama has been his usual squishy self on the gay agenda…..sometimes for it sometimes against it….it depends on who is in front of him.

    J (332b35)

  32. aphrael, I don’t think that the President has such authority at all. The analogy breaks down.

    Meanwhile, it really looks like the announcement does not have any real plan behind it ( and who is surprised by that? ) and is a rushed response to the drying up of fundraising among gay organizations on behalf of Democrats.

    Amateur hour. The Empty Suit(tm) continues to show that he is Not Ready for PrimeTime.

    SPQR (72771e)

  33. Fair enough aphrael. For examples of how it might get better, think of Lasik, tooth-whitening or plastic surgery. All have gotten better / cheaper without insurance companies mucking up the market.

    carlitos (84409d)

  34. I had this sitting on the page for a while, and APQR beat me to the link. Anyway, as noted, right-wing wacko gay Democrat blogger John Aravosis tells us the deal. My emphasis added.

    But administration officials said the timing of the announcement was intended to help contain the growing furor among gay rights groups. Several gay donors withdrew their sponsorship of a Democratic National Committee fund-raising event next week, where Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. is scheduled to speak.

    This is simply more evidence that the White House never had a plan to act on our civil rights, to act on the president’s promises (none of which have been fulfilled, or even addressed). They’re simply winging it with our rights.

    carlitos (84409d)

  35. SPQR, of course it’s a rushed response to the drying up of fundraising among gay organizations. The Obama administration thought that gay activists were in the bag, so to speak, lulled into silence by unfulfilled promises. They really misunderstood the deep distrust that the community has for words that are not backed by deeds; there’s a general feeling in the gay community that President Clinton betrayed us, so we’re not going to get suckered a second time. When combined with the seething anger the community still feels about Proposition 8, it means that gay activists are going to be easily offended and hard to win back, once offended.

    Which means, inter alia, that this gambit will fail in its attempt to get gay organizations to resume fundraising: it’s too little to achieve that goal.

    DRJ, I actually wasn’t annoyed by the DOMA brief; my response was that it’s nice to see the justice department defending laws it doesn’t like. I’ve been more annoyed over the lack of movement on DADT – but it’s only been five months, and other things have higher priority. I get that, I’m willing to cut the adminstration slack on the issue, and five months is in general too little time to judge the success, or lack thereof, of a presidency.

    I’m more annoyed over the state secrets/executive power stuff, to be honest.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  36. I’m more annoyed over the state secrets/executive power stuff, to be honest.
    Comment by aphrael — 6/18/2009 @ 11:48 am

    Does not the Executive have unique powers under the Constitution?
    And, shouldn’t the State be able to keep some information Secret?

    AD - RtR/OS! (aac859)

  37. aphrael, I think they are all of the same hypocrisy myself.

    SPQR (72771e)

  38. aphrael – Would you be willing to give a course in how to disagree without being disagreeable? I would gladly sign up for it.

    JD (d3f3ab)

  39. AD – RtR/OS!: yes, and yes.

    That does not mean that executive power as defined by the Obama administration is consistent with the Constitution, nor that the State has the power/authority to keep the secrets that it is keeping.

    Note that I’m being consistent here: I object to the Obama administration doing the same sorts of things I objected to the Bush administration doing … because it’s about principle for me, and not about personalities.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  40. I think that DRJ and aphrael should do an online seminar together, on how to not be mendoucheous.

    JD (d3f3ab)

  41. I think that DRJ and aphrael should do an online seminar together, on how to not be mendoucheous.
    Comment by JD — 6/18/2009 @ 12:05 pm

    They do. It’s called “Patterico’s Pontifications”. You’re welcome. 😉

    Stashiu3 (ed6467)

  42. Well, if the Executive has powers that are not reviewable by either the Legislative, or Judicial Branches, and the Government has the right, and duty, to keep some information secret; then, we are arguing over the extent of those powers, but I have failed to see where you wish to draw that line.
    The State Secrets agrument ISTM has been made by career litigators in the Justice Dept in both Administrations, and is an important issue subordinate to whether or not terrorism, and terrorists, have any right to the protections of the Judicial System. Plus, we have the previous example of a defense attorney being a conduit for sensitive information that the release of was damaging to the interests of the United States, and was valuable to the interests of those who are enemies of the United States (an entity that includes all of the citizens and residents, not just the institutions of government).
    Furthermore, it is the prime function of the Federal Government to protect the citizens from which it derives its’ powers from all threats, both foreign and domestic (I read that somewhere – it’s probably a lie).
    To fail to do so would reveal that that government instituted among men is disfunctional and antithetical to that institution.

    AD - RtR/OS! (aac859)

  43. […] benefits to the same-sex partners of federal employees.  Patrick Frey argues that this is a purely political move.  Joe Davidson reports that opposite-sex partners are […]

    Weekly Web Watch 06/15/09 – 06/21/09 « EXECUTIVE WATCH (1c6b20)


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