So, David, you're slapping me around in a post at HuffPo—along with some terrific activists and bloggers whose work I respect (and in whose company I'm proud to be)—for calling on Obama to endorse marriage equality before the election. You apparently missed a couple of my posts on this very subject. Like this one:
Richard Socarides thinks [Obama should endorse marriage equality before the election in 2012]. Andrew Sullivan says, "It won't happen." I'm going to go an inch farther (further?) than Andrew and say that not only don't I think it will happen, I don't think it should happen. While national polls show a slim majority of Americans now support marriage equality, supporters of marriage equality aren't evenly distributed throughout all 50 states. They're over-represented in populous blue states that Obama is going to carry, under-represented in purple states that he needs to carry, and thin in the ground in red states that he has no hope of carrying. Electoral College Goddam. And maybe I'm a pessimist... but... I don't think Obama endorsing marriage equality would convince any Republicans who support marriage equality (all six of them) to vote for him, I don't think it by itself would convince independents to vote for him, and I think it would convince some conservative Democrats to vote against him.
And this one:
Before I risk publicly disagreeing with "some strategists" let me say with this: I think the president should come out in support of marriage equality. I think everyone should. And I believe Obama supported marriage equality in 1996, and I think he supports it now. But I also believe that Barack Obama will pay a political price—a potentially determinative price—if he endorses marriage equality before the 2012 election.... Obama's team, I expect, realizes this (they're probably polling it as I type), and their mission is to get the president reelected. Our mission is to secure our full civil equality and I don't see how a Romney/Bachmann administration gets us closer to that goal. The country is moving our way, time is on our side, and I expect that Obama's kabuki evolution will pick up a serious head of steam sometime in January of 2013. Who knows? The president could wind up evolving all the way back to 1996.
If I'm a deranged faggot who hates the president and is guilty of "anti-Obamaism," David, I sure do have a strange way of communicating my hatred: three weeks ago Terry and I made a big donation to Obama's reelection campaign.
As for the rest of your post: it's ridiculous to suggest that kickass activists and impassioned bloggers like Joe Sudbay and Pam Spaulding and John Aravosis and Kerry Eleveld are out of line when they make demands on the president. I happen to agree with you: getting the president reelected has to be our first priority. Other writers, activists, and bloggers disagree with me and they're pressuring the president to endorse marriage equality now. But to put pressure on a politician—even a president—isn't a betrayal. And it isn't shirking. To put pressure on the president is to "get up/stand up." It is activism. It is work. It isn't all the work that needs doing and it's not the only work that Pam, Joe, John, Kerry, et al, are doing.
No one expects the president to lead the movement. We do, however, expect him to lead.