TALKING THE TALK
Obama made a speech to the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights organization, the other day, and Andrew Sullivan wasn't impressed. Of course he wasn't. He has a visceral hatred for the group for some reason, and he's grown impatient with Obama's talk-to-action ratio. Not that I can blame him...he's got a very personal stake in the matters addressed (aside from DADT). Here's my take: until Obama can increase the action in that ratio, he needs to lower the talk. I (and Sullivan) understand the amount of shit on his plate, and the political challenges Obama faces with all things gay—but that, and the fact he's only nine months in office, only excuses the lack of action. The talk is all up to him. I know an invitation by the HRC is probably impossible for him to decline, but if I were Obama I'd be embarrassed to deliver that speech having walked NONE of the walk.
And that is a natural lead-in to the Nobel Prize. My first reaction was the same as most of Obama's critics: "Are you fucking kidding me? What has he done?" Now, with a bit more background on the process, it seems it is not unusual for people to receive the award in anticipation of or for potential actions. That's clearly the case here. Along with a statement about the USA's rejection of the Bush/Cheney regime.
But the timing for this would have been better had Obama had a chance to act on anything of real substance. I understand it's designed to motivate him, but it ends up making everyone involved look stupid. And despite catcalls from the right about this feeding Obama's alleged narcissism, it's probably the LAST thing Obama wanted to deal with right now.
And here's what else...I really don't care to hear another excellent speech about Obama's plans to undo the Bush/Cheney doctrine until he actually does any of it.
UPDATE: Excellent analysis and breakdown by Rachel Maddow.