I just had the privilege of reading Andrew Sullivan's cover story from the Newsweek edition that will be available tomorrow. Cool thing is that I have an ipad - and its available there today. So I'm going to give you a lead on it. Here's what I found to be the money quotes.
First of all, he mirrors the experience of E.J. Graff that I wrote about previously.
For gay Americans and their famliies, the emotional darkness of Tuesday night became a canvas on which Obama could paint a widening dawn. But I didn't expect it. Like many others, I braced myself for disappointment. And yet when I watched the interview, the tears came flooding. The moment reminded me of my own wedding day. I had figured it out in my head, but not my heart. And I was utterly unprepared for how psychologically transformative the moment would be. To have the President of the United States affirm my humanity - and the humanity of all gay Americans - was, unexpectedly, a watershed.I'm starting to think that almost no one in the national media gets President Obama's long game the way Andrew Sullivan does these days. Remember his last cover story for Newsweek? He now applies that to what the President has accomplished by way of equal rights for GLBT.
But when you step back a little and assess the record of Obama on gay rights, you see, in fact, that this [his announcement on Wednesday] was not an aberration. It was an inevitable culmination of three years of work. He did this the way he always does: leading from behind and playing the long game. He learned from Clinton that tackling this issue up front would only backfire, especially in a recession. So he bided his time.Sullivan goes on to chronicle President Obama's actions, including lifting the HIV travel ban, repealing DADT and instructing the DOJ to stop defending DOMA. And then Sullivan eats a little humble pie.
This, by any measure, is an astonishing pace of change in one presidential term. In four years Obama went from being JFK on civil rights to being LBJ: from giving uplifting speeches to acting in ways to make the inspiring words a reality. And he did so by co-opting the forces of resistance - like the military leadership. He fooled most of us much of the time, our outbursts often intemperate - I went on CNN at one point to say that the president had betrayed the gay community on the military ban. We snarked about the "fierce urgency of whenever." Our anger built. And sometimes I wonder if he goaded us into "making him do it." If he did, it worked.He finishes by talking about how President Obama's own struggle for an identity mirrors what so many GLBT young people go through. And how, in his marriage to Michelle, "he created a kind of family he never had before, without ever leaving his real family behind"...something that roots him in being able to understand what marriage can mean to GLBT people.
I suggest that when this issue of Newsweek becomes available that you grab it and read the whole thing. Its really quite wonderful to occasionally see someone in the media catch on to our President's long game.