09 May 2012

Projection

I (and others) have said before that a big part of Obama's appeal is that he's a blank canvas. People project whatever they want to see on to him.

I can't think of a clearer example than this bit of WSJ Radio from today. (Which of course I can't embed.) The related article is here; this is the relevant passage:
"There's no doubt in my mind that the president shares these values, and that's why it's time for him to speak out in favor of marriage equality as well," said Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, a pro-gay-rights group.
Glenn Thrush said on the radio that all of his pro-gay-rights contacts were sure that in private Obama agreed with them, but couldn't point to any actual statements, to say nothing of actions.

DC is supposed to operate according to "what have you done for me lately?" In this case Obama doesn't have to rely on what he's done for gay marriage activists lately. Or done for them ever. Or even things he's said to support them, lately or otherwise. A combination of his own blank-ness and the GOP's antagonism lets him get away with doing absolutely nothing on this issue — indeed, publicly stating he opposes gay marriage — and having pro-gay-marriage activists love him for it anyway.

Talk is cheap. Silent thoughts even cheaper. Fantasies of someone else's silent thoughts are too cheap to meter.


Yes, yes, I said I was going to be letting up the throttle on blogging, especially about politics. But I can't just go cold turkey.


ETA 4:21pm — Part of me feels a little silly for having published this the morning before Obama finally went on the record endorsing gay marriage. But a bigger part of me realizes that everything I said above is a nice and accurate description of the state of the world as it existed at the time I wrote it. I'm satisfied with that.

Yes, he is no longer a blank canvas on this issue. But we've reached this point 1205 days into his (1461 day long) presidential term, and 1915 days after he formally announced his candidacy.

1 comment:

  1. Endorsing gay marriage in 2012 is pretty much a 'yeah what took you so long thing'.

    Also 'endorsing' isn't nearly as world changing as 'doing something'.

    Sarah fargin' Palin - as governor of Alaska, has done more actual good for the cause of 'gay rights' than Obama has. Whop-te-do.

    Maybe I'm just grumpy. Were I gay, were I wanting this real bad, I'd take it, but I'd feel real pandered to. Oh yes, Mr. and Mr. Gay Person - it's an election year and I'm giving you a crumb. Now be happy and vote for me.

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