Barack Obama has been testing my patience a bit these days. From his vote on FISA to the notion that the government should ever limit a woman’s right to an abortion (tip - it’s never up to a bunch of politicians, never), I’ve been a bit frustrated. I'm still with him, so don't get all worked up, but I'm getting tired of defending him to my far lefty friends. Really tired.
One potential decision, however, might just send me to scrape the bumper sticker off of my car.
Apparently, on Obama's short list for vice president is the former Democratic senator from Georgia, Sam Nunn. Nunn served admirably in some ways and today, he's working to reduce the the threat of nuclear and chemical weapons. In one particular realm, though, he really, really messed up.
Nunn was chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee when President Bill Clinton took office. During his campaign, Clinton had promised to end the ban on gay men and lesbians in the US military. For progressive folks like me, this was a BIG DEAL. Yet Nunn stood in the way of his own president and blocked implementation of the policy change. In doing so, he helped guarantee one of the more asinine policies in our nation’s military history, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Since then, the strongest denunciation he has made of his role in this pathetic history is that he would be willing to "take another look" at DADT. Not good enough.
Now, on gay rights, Obama is not perfect. He opposes gay marriage. He does, however, favor civil unions and has spoken strongly against a proposed amendment to California’s constitution which would outlaw gay marriage. And, he opposes Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. For the record, McCain is in favor of California's amendment and is in favor (seriously) of DADT.
So, if Obama truly takes this whole, you know, equality thing seriously he should reject Sam Nunn entirely. Please, Senator Obama, I hate scraping bumper stickers. Please don’t make me.