via The Bilerico Project, by Yasmin Nair
As I've written countless times before, I think gay marriage is the wrong cause and should be dumped immediately. So I didn't think I'd care much about the recent Department of Justice move to dismiss the Smelt case against DOMA. But, to my surprise, I found myself enthralled by the legal arguments that have sprung up around it. I'll be writing on these at greater length, but for now I wanted to share some preliminary musings and observations about the initial gay and lesbian responses to the administration's case.
First, I was struck by the amount of petulance and, frankly, sheer hysteria that marked the outburst against Obama who has, it seems, gone from being the Great Hope to the Great Betrayer. Although I haven't done a scientific count, I'm willing to bet that "betrayal" has been the most used word in the gay blogosphere over the last few days. For the most part, I concur with Alex Blaze's analysis of the issue and especially when he writes that "The Smelt case was a bad idea from the beginning that the gay activist community opposed, but the plaintiffs and their lawyer went ahead with it anyway." I don't even support gay marriage, but I'm bemused by the extent to which people are defending a suit that they may not even agree with in the first place. It's a little bit like the old joke: the food here is terrible, and there's so little of it. In this case: The lawsuit here is terrible, yes, and how dare he dare he seek its dismissal!
In that light, for gay marriage activists to now insist that Obama ought not to have sought to dismiss the case is a bit like poking someone with a very sharp spear and then crying foul when they do what they can to retaliate. Let me just say this as a layperson: if you file a lawsuit, the other party is going to file to dismiss. That's kind of how it works.
Second, I'm intrigued at the level of personal bile and anger leveled at Obama and the paradoxically high level of expectation that people seem to have for him. The sense of betrayal around the Smelt case exposes the extent to which people seem to have over-invested in Obama's supposed munificence and good will towards the gay community. Yes, he's clearly brilliant. Yes, he may well be to the left of Bush, which is not saying very much. But come on people, he's not your daddy.