Archive for the ‘joe liberman’ tag
Reaction to President Obama’s first speech from the Oval Office this week has been swift and decidedly negative, except, perhaps, from some in his own party who want some type of energy reform. For instance, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) had this to say:
President Obama presented a path to energy independence in his speech tonight that strengthens our economy and protects our environment. He made a compelling case that America cannot delay our pursuit of a national clean energy strategy that makes us more competitive globally.
And Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) issued this statement:
This could be a historic leadership moment. President Obama used his first-ever Oval Office address to call for the passage of comprehensive energy and climate legislation. There can be no doubt that the president is rolling up his sleeves to ensure we establish a market mechanism to tackle carbon pollution, create hundreds of thousands of new jobs each year, strengthen energy independence and improve the quality of the air we breathe. We will continue working with colleagues from both sides of the aisle to pass comprehensive reform this summer.
Everyone else, for the most part either thought Obama was too openly political in mentioning his energy plans (Michael Steele) or didn’t go far enough. Rachel Maddow went to so far as to stage her own mock speech outlining what Obama should have said but didn’t:
I no longer say that we must get off oil. We will get off oil, and here’s how. The United States Senate will pass an energy bill this year. The Senate version of the bill will not expand offshore drilling. The earlier targets in that bill for energy efficiency and for renewable energy sources will be doubled or tripled.
But the problem here is that such a bill probably wouldn’t pass in the Senate because of moderates. Obviously, Maddow is quite progressive, and while I may agree with her on some points, the president’s approach to look toward some type of energy reform in the near future, however nebulous at this moment, is the right one, while Maddow’s approach, noble at times, takes it a step too far to stick realistically at this juncture.
Back to the point, Newsweek, using headers like “Disappointed,” “Betrayed” and “Perplexed” outlined numerous opinion writers’ negative opinions on the matter.
But here I come to a post by this blogger, who, after enunciating many criticisms to the speech, also laid out a few positives Obama spelled out during the speech:
So what three policies did Obama choose to call out individually?
Some have suggested raising efficiency standards in our buildings like we did in our cars and trucks. Some believe we should set standards to ensure that more of our electricity comes from wind and solar power. Others wonder why the energy industry only spends a fraction of what the high-tech industry does on research and development — and want to rapidly boost our investments in such research and development.
I could be reading too much into this — “some believe” and “others wonder” aren’t exactly cris de coeur — but these words were chosen carefully. Normally Obama’s energy pitch includes ritual nods to “clean coal,” nuclear power, and domestic drilling. None of those made an appearance last night; it was only energy efficiency and renewable energy. That strikes me as a deliberate (and welcome) message to the Senate about what Obama wants on the energy side of a bill.
That’s hardly enough to salvage the speech, of course. But it’s not nothing.
And well, if conservative Dems or Reps are dissatisfied with the direction of the speech, what other direction could it have gone? The progression from talking about lessening the damage from the spill to points on generally preventing such a thing in the future, and further, on getting us, once and for all, off of oil in the first place, seems to me to be the logical progression the speech should have taken, as it did. But, let this point not be lost: Maddow’s thoughts, however much I may want it to be a reality in the future, will not be a reality in the near present. We have simply too many folks in power with much to gain from the status quo to make that vision happen.
Note: “Ctd.” means this is continued from a previous post.
For obvious reasons, Democrats and the always ideologically hard to pin down Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) are supporting an effort to repeal the mid-1990s “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” law that prevents military personnel from openenly serving in the military. President Obama also called for the repeal during his first State of the Union address.
This year, I will work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are.
Republicans, however, are by and large seeking more information from top military officials about how cutting the ban may affect servicemen and women. And I think they are taking the right stance on this point. As one commenter from the Politics Daily Web site said:
Current policy seems to work so leave it alone. Just imagine the problems it will create. How are reg soldiers going to feel knowing that they are showering with someone who is gay? Or just being in the same room? I am not against gays, just wondering how others might feel. I still thing its in the gene make-up of the body which determines what someone might be. But two guys or women holding hands on a base could cause problems. Privately- who cares.
And appearing exacerbated by those suggestions, pondermom wrote:
Straight men are showering next to gay men NOW they just don’t know it. And how are they going to feel ” just being in the same room ” ? Are you serious? You and Diane Schwab are both completely clueless. Are straight men attracted to every woman they see? Why would you think that gay men and women are attracted to every other man or woman walking down the street, or for that matter, showering next to? And, by the way, the military is not exactly the profession that the “drag queen” type of gay man, which I am sure is what you think all gay men are, is going to choose…. basic training and stilettos don’t exactly mesh.
It’s true that just because men and women are serving together doesn’t mean that everyone is attracted to everyone. Or, we can at least hope that most members of the military have moved along from their hormone-strewn puberty years. And it’s also short-sighted to think that just because someone is gay that he’s going to automatically “like” every guy he sees. Gay attraction works the same as straight attraction. Some folks float your boat; some don’t. Still, I think lifting DADT could get awkward as the former commenter suggested. As I’ve noted elsewhere, who I “like” on a personal level is my business, and I see little reason to shout my straightness to the stars. Neither should gays.
I think some folks might be forgetting a key component of DADT: the law prevents military officials from investigating their sexuality upon enlisting or during their times of service. Surely any repeal of DADT would address this part of the law. Like John McCain has suggested, the status quo should probably be held on this particular issue.
If anything, perhaps arcane language in the current law, such as: gays in the military would
create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion that are the essence of military capability …
should be cleaned up and modernized.